UCLA Junior Elite Softball Camp. Her 2nd consecutive year attending this 3 day/2 night sleepover camp at the UCLA campus. The UCLA Bruins softball team just won the 2019 NCAA Championship a couple months ago. She will be coached by alumni players and the championship head coach. Girls from all over travel from out of state to attend this camp... we drove an hour. I feel fortunate for opportunities like this one that we are able to give her, and I am grateful to have a child who is open to seizing them.
Yet it is far from perfect. She was nervous, had butterflies in her stomach, and gave us a healthy serving of tween attitude on the way to drop her off this morning. Her little brother had a major meltdown on the car ride over, with fists swinging. Disastrous. Raised voices. Heightened tempers. Flowing tears. I swear, the challenges of parenting never seem to end. As they have gotten older, the toddler/little kid issues have died off just to be replaced by bigger kid/tween challenges. It is hard, and it is scary, and it is SO much work. It can render you feeling exhausted and defeated, and it can make you seriously question your life choices. You can feel like the worst parent in the world and wonder if it will ever get better or easier.
But whenever I feel frustration, fear, scarcity and pessimism take hold... when I start to feel overwhelmed by all the decisions I have to make, or unsure about all the ones I have already made... when I can’t see the hope ⚓️ amidst the hardships... I just look at their faces and tune into the love in my heart. I give a kiss and a hug and a smile and focus on the joy that exists and the gratitude I have for my life. For the love. THE LOVE IS IT. All of it. The experience of loving, of feeling connected to these humans, of living in the present moment, and finding in their eyes the part of me that lives in them. This life we lead is blessed with infinite opportunities for grace, generosity, growth, and gratitude. Honing in and connecting with these benevolent qualities is a daily goal, while also starving the malevolent ones of energy and their power over my life. But it all takes practice... just like softball. 🥎