‘Mum I lost.’ Vivaan said carelessly slinging the golf bag on his shoulders, two clubs falling down. I said, ‘never mind.’ But my mind was trying to formulate the right words to teach him about life’s ups and downs and how losing was alright and you can’t win all the time. I was groping for the right words when he plunked the bag on the ground, picked up the clubs and slung it right back. Very matter of factly he told me, ‘But its alright, ma. See, I did better than last time so next time if I work a bit harder I think I can make it.’
I blinked. There it was. Life’s lesson learnt right there. Not from a thick book written by somebody way beyond his or her shelf life but a six year old. That simple.
And with those words he trotted (actually danced is more like it) his way to the car. And we make such a big deal about teaching our kids ‘stuff’. Right there on the greens, my son taught me that its alright, that I don’t have to be his mentor all the time. Sometimes I just need to be the random wall he writes his thoughts on and moves on.
Just as we were getting in the car another mother daughter duo walked into the parking and the mother went on and on about how badly she had played and how she needed to work harder, etc, etc. The girl’s face looked broken, just like her spirit. I really wanted to go up to her and ask her to point out one person she knows who loves to lose! Think about it really…does anyone like to lose? No. So obviously our kids aren’t exactly ecstatic when they stand seventh in some competition or get disqualified or they fail. I think moral lecture can be spared then. All they require at that time is some reassurance and a gentle prod in the right direction. Motivation is good. Fear and self-doubt is bad.
So I guess the right thing to do would be to teach our kids to let the fall be a faint memory while preparing for the climb ahead.