Have your kids ever said anything that just amazed you? Our youngest child is quickly approaching the teenage years, and sometimes it feels like we are talking to a brick wall.  You know that stage, suddenly it feels as if you can’t say anything right. We’ve had our fair share of those moments, but this past Saturday night, my 12-year old son said the most amazing thing, that not only proved he listens, but also that he can teach what he hears.

It had been a long day. We had left our house around 12:30 in the afternoon for some tailgating fun before 7:00pm kick off. For those of you who know us, you know that leaving our house at 12:30 for tailgating allows us to get the perfect parking spot by 12:35…give or take a minute.  As a family, we pretty much have tailgating down to a fine art. With teamwork, we can have the tent up, table up, flags waving and food and drink on the table within 20 minutes. Next we just sit back and relax visiting with family and friends until it’s time to go into the game. This particular Saturday was extra exciting. It was the first game of the season with a whole new team coaches and we were excited for a new season, celebrating new traditions and embracing the old ones.

The game was like riding on a rickety old roller coaster. The team came out of the tunnel and the stadium went crazy. Everyone was on their feet and it just felt right. Surly there was going to be a victory tonight. We scored first, with an awesome pass caught in the end zone. Yes, things were looking good, but remember, I said that it was like riding a rickety old roller coaster. What goes up most come down and oh, it came down and then it went up and then down, down and down. We lost the game after a couple of major mistakes. It had been a long day and the loss only added to my tiredness.

We slowly inched our way out of the stands, listening to the grumbling fans as we walked. The drive home seemed to be taking forever we hadn’t moved more than a couple of feet in 30-minutes and I was kicking myself that I hadn’t gone to the bathroom before we left. I looked at the car clock and saw that it was after 11:30, no wonder I felt cranky, I just wanted to be home and to crawl into my bed.  In the front seat my husband and father in-law listened to the sports station as we slowly inched our way out of the parking lot.  They discussed the game and every call, which felt like fingers on the chalkboard to me. The coaches stayed positive and tried to sound encouraging about the game the following week and the fans complained…. I was complaining in my head. I had spent my entire Saturday around this #!@%$ football game and not only did we lose, it wasn’t much fun to watch.  My son sat in the back with me, quiet and tired after his long day. He had also been listening to sports radio and his dad and grandpa talking when he said the most ingenious thing, he said, “Sometimes a team needs to lose so that they can see what needs to be improved, so that they can have more victories in the future.”  BINGO! He had found a positive in a negative moment. My heart swelled with pride, as I knew that he had been hearing us on other occasions. Not only that, but he also used the lesson that we had been trying to teach him right back on us…when we really needed to hear it the most.

The moral of the story is that good can happen NOT only when we lose a game we wanted to win, but also in the more important things in life. IF we are willing, we can look at every loss and learn from it. We might not be able to have film footage to help, but I bet we have a community of friends and family who would be willing to help us see the good during are personal losses.

What lessons have you learned during some of your losses in life?