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One Little Moment in Life...Joy and Pain: A Lesson

posted Aug 27, 2012, 8:11 AM by Steve Gill

One Little Moment in Life…Joy and Pain: A lesson                            


As soon as I saw the swing and heard the contact, I didn’t even have to look.  Gone.  Rags hit is his first ever out of the park, game time homerun.  A three run shot complete with his homerun trot (something that he has secretly been practicing in the backyard) and his teammates mobbing him at home plate.  To say that Dad was a little proud would be an understatement.

Many folks would say that he is overdue, he is a head taller and about 30 pounds heavier than most of the kids his age.  But, I too have be reminded that he is just 8 years old.  After all an hour before the game he loves and enjoys with such passion he was sitting in his uniform playing with his Legos and designing a ship that undoubtedly would crush the evil empire that was somehow led by Luke Skywalker (for all you Star Wars geeks, you’ll appreciate the irony of that).

This brings me to my life lesson.  Joy and Pain in one little moment.   I fought  back tears to give him a fist bump and tell him nice shot.  After the inning was over, I did the Dad thing, hugs and kisses and telling him how proud of him I was.  I didn’t want the moment to pass to let him know that, but I also wanted in that moment to let he and my team know that there was still a task at hand. 

This put me in a moral quandary, did I handle the situation the best that I could?  Should I have picked him up and spun him around in the air like we see in so many of those great commercials on TV?  I wrestled with it all the rest of the day.  Did I let a defining little moment in life get away?  At bedtime as we talked, I again reiterated how proud I was of him and that God had blessed me with a son that I love so much that cannot fully understand or explain.  He took a moment told me he loved me so much and then he said to me…”I guess all of our batting practice is good, we need to hit some more Dad…!” 


One of my favorite sports icons is Vince Lombardi and you will often hear me quote him.  One of the pearls of wisdom that I often reference is:

“The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.” Vince Lombardi


My Lego loving 8 year old put me in a state of bliss last night.  He loves me, his first homerun, two games won by his team, and his excitement for the impending start of school.  But more importantly he has realized that all of that tedious practice that takes him away from his toys and beloved Disney Channel is making him a better player and person.  In his moment of success he realized it was the  hard work that got him there and will keep him there.  Whether this was just a moment of sudden clarity or he really is staring to grasp this, well who knows.  But for that one little defining moment, the Joy and Pain leaned heavily towards the Joy.