Win some, lose some; shake it off and keep it moving


Dear Austin,

I wish I had the ability to shield you from every loss you’ll ever suffer; but then you’d never learn some of life’s most important lessons. You can’t win if you’re not in the game, so keep getting out there and doing your best. There will always be someone stronger and better, but if you work hard you can get to the top of your chosen sport or field. Sitting on the sidelines is not your destiny my dear 7-year-old grandson. I can see and feel your passion for everything you take on: your school work, swimming, golf, baseball, tennis, Cub Scouts and basketball.

Yes your team suffered a bruising loss. Your Kennesaw Bats baseball team is done. It was a great season and the Bats had a good tournament run. Monday, you had one of your best games ever; getting players out and hitting a grand slam. Tuesday it was not your team’s game to win. Your team struggled but came back to within two runs after the other team had you down by 7. We fans loved that you fought back, trying mightily to dig yourselves out of a deep hole.

After the game your coach told you he was proud of his team. He asked if you had fun this season. At 7, that’s what it should be about for you. But you’ve got a fierce competitive streak that we all admire. You want to win every game and get every game ball. There is no “I” in team, we tell you. Just get out there, do your best and enjoy playing.

You shed tears; and before I knew it, your mom was in the dugout, helping you pack up your baseball gear. A few minutes later, I saw you and your Dad having a private conversation about the loss. I’m sure he was trying to get you to see the bright side of things.  In between, you and I had our moment. “I won’t get to play baseball again,” you said between the tears.

“Yes you will.  You’ll be back out here in the spring and again in the fall.” I said. “I want to play now,” you said. 

I remember the pain of not getting picked for junior high cheerleading even though two of my friends were picked. Cheerleading was not to be my destiny. For starters, I wasn’t good at it. You are good at just about everything you try. I remember your mother’s dejection when she wasn’t picked for her high school dance team. I could see from a half mile away. Her body language told me she didn’t make it. She got in the car and melted into the seat. Your super competitive auntie had a different reaction when she didn’t make the team. She thought she had been robbed; because she was a better dancer than most of the girls who made it. She went on to earn first chair in the school orchestra for cello. Her voice was so strong she was a leader in the chorus and was chosen to sing the national anthem at school events. Your mom had her successes too — and you and Olivia are at the top of that list. In fact, your mom is good at so many things I can hardly count them all.

Sports is clearly your thing. Later, you will find other things you like just as well if not better. Your coach told you after one game that the tears you shed showed passion. So if it helps to shed them; go ahead. Just be a good sport. Always take the losses like a winner and you’ll be fine.

Love you much,



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