He wanted to be the 3rd grade class representative to the Student Council. Unfortunately, the majority of the class voted for someone else. I was crushed when he told me about this. I didn't feel sorry for him. Instead, my heart broke. I knew he wanted this position. He had been talking about it all summer. He thought it would be great if he and his older brother, the Student Council President, were on Student Council at the same time.
He was quiet after he told me the bad news. He has always been my "thinker". He tends to process situations and people silently before expressing his thoughts.
The silence was killing me. I needed to know what he was thinking. I already knew what he was feeling. It was written all over his face. He was holding back tears. His voice cracked when he finally spoke.
"I'm sad I'm not the class representative, but I'm really happy she won. She deserves it. I just know she'll do a good job. She was so happy when she found out she's the class rep."
I said, "I'm sorry you lost. I know you really wanted this."
With a smile that lit up his face, he said, "Oh no, Mommy. I didn't lose. It just wasn't my turn to be class rep. I'll try again next year."
Wow! I was stunned. Now it was my turn to hold back the tears. It was my voice that cracked when I finally found the words to say to him: "I'm so proud of you and I love you no matter what."
I meant every single word. I. AM. PROUD. OF. HIM.
I can't tell you how many times I've been passed over for a blogging opportunity. Yes, I always feel bad when that happens. My first question is usually "What's wrong with me?" Followed by, "I lost, someone else won what I wanted. Maybe I'm not good enough." This thought process then puts me in a funk that only a bar of Lindt milk chocolate can get me out of.
When did my 8 year old son become so wise? At that moment, I vowed to stop feeling sorry for myself. My son had just taught me a whole new way of looking at lost opportunities:
It's not a matter of losing. It's just not your turn yet. Try again.
Simple yet profound.