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This week, we did something that scared the daylights out of me.

I was thumbing through my favorite blogs on the way to Hoss’s wrestling tournament today, and I landed on a short and insightful piece on how physical and mental discomfort helps us grow. Since I was a nervous wreck about his first throwdown in a full-contact aggressive sport, it fit the day.

Wrestling was not at all my idea. In fact, we put him in not one, but two situations where we were sure he would get knocked around a little, then hate it. But it backfired, and here we are. It’s the first of my kids’ activities that I didn’t choose for them.

Could this be one of those times that marks the transition to big kid?

After a few weeks of him not hating practice, it came time to test his skills in a real match with kids he didn’t know. He paced the house all morning. I paced the house too, in different rooms, so he wouldn’t pick up on my nerves. We left, we arrived, and waited.

Me shredding a napkin, a full two hours before anything started. Mister noticed I was doing this without realizing it and thought it was funny so he took a pic.

When his number came up, he took the mat. I was sure he would freeze, or get a facefull of rubber, or come off bleeding. Instead, he pinned his opponent in 35 seconds. After that, my nervous energy changed to eager excitement, and of course Hoss was pumped.

His second match, he went hard but lost, during which his shoulder took a twist that didn’t jive with my understanding of human shoulder anatomy. He was fine, but the straining, the look of pain and panic on his face…moms don’t like that.

Back to shredding napkins for me, uncertainty for him.

He won his third, and based on a points and brackets system that I don’t yet understand, that landed him second place in his weight class, and a new love for a sport.

He was happy when he won, driven to give it a little more when he lost. He was thriving in an arena I hadn’t chosen for him.

There was some legit fear, literal discomfort, and a whole lot of growing happening in that gym that day.

On the other side of fear, Hoss found a challenge, a killer workout, a new sport to get excited about, effort rewarded, and a little more of his likes and himself revealed.

On the other side of fear, mom found a the sweet side of loosening the grip, of letting the kids grow up and start learning to fly.

 

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