This afternoon, I took a stroll down memory lane - remembering time spent with little girlfriends when I was young. Dressing up in Tiffany's mom's dresses, high heels, jewelry and accessories. Shaving legs with Kasha. Listening to music with Angel. Long afternoons sharing secrets and whispering about boys in Kile's backyard. Looking through Tiger Beat and Teen Beat magazines with Kim, professing our undying love for Don Johnson and Ralph Macchio. Underwater tea parties at the pool with Marci and Michelle. Experimenting with hair and make-up with Mandy. Doing bedroom ballet and singing into hairbrush microphones with my sister. Babysitting classes and crafts with my Girl Scout troop. Cooking and sewing classes with girls in my Sunday school class.
When girls gathered, we were pretty stationary - keeping only our hands and mouths moving.
However, as a mother of boys, I've learned that boys socialize differently. Little talking, lots of movement. Lots of sports.
And... If excelling easily at sports isn't your thing, this kind of socializing can be difficult.
At the start of the summer, my husband and I agreed to invest in opportunities for Zach to grow in this area. To grow in the knowledge of who and whose he is (so he doesn't feel he needs to find his identity in sport), while growing comfortable and confident in actively engaging with other kids.
We didn't enroll him in sports camps to groom him for super stardom. We were not trying to give him a leg up or condition him for the next season. We merely wanted him to have several opportunities a week to play with different groups of kids, trying new things, going outside of his comfort zone.
And he loved every minute of it.
Today was the last of all of his camps.
And, can you believe it ... he WON FIRST PLACE in the championship round of Junior Golf.
He was happy to simply have been at Junior Golf for the last eight weeks with his cousins, but to win a trophy? He's over the moon. And we are so proud of him.
Win, lose, or draw in sport - he's learned and grown a lot and made several new friends this summer. As he returns to school next month, I pray that he will cling to the successes he's had this summer and remember that ... you only fail when you refuse to try. And, it's just life. Don't take it so seriously. Have fun. Laugh. Get dirty. Play.