[image: Amy Michelle]
This is how the conversation went last week with Eldest, and yes, she gave me permission to blog about this.
ME: You want to do what?
ELDEST: I want to try out for softball.
ME: Um . . . ah . . . sweetie, now I am not trying to say that you can’t play softball, but you do know that you have never actually played softball.
ELDEST: w/a mischievous and wry smile, "I know, but I want to try."
And so the next adventure begins for Eldest. They asked. She answered. She never has played a lick softball in her life. She doesn’t know the rules at all. And quite honestly I am not surprised.
Fearlessness is strong in this one, it is.
Upon her "try-out" where everyone finds out that they make the team, she was optimistic in her assessment of "not being the worst one" but certainly realistic in her realization that, "I need to practice". Now some of you know that I am a HUGE baseball fan, played baseball in High School – GO TITANS! – and played fast pitch softball for years commuting back and forth from SF to Stockton during college. I have slowed up quite a bit in the latter years, but still love getting out there on occasion to do my best Ozzie Smith impersonation. A shorter, chubbier Ozzie Smith, but you get what I mean.
I guess it is time to break out the equpment – oh and you KNOW I have all the stuff – again! This should be fun. And besides the fact that I can live out my inner and obnoxious "Umpire you are a bum, play my kid, batter batter swing batter, there is no crying in baseball softball parent" dreams, Eldest continues to teach me about grander things in life.
She really does think that she can do anything. And not in a "life owes me" kind of way, but in a "why shouldn’t I try?" kind of way. Over her life she has faced activities where she was not the best, but she always tried and when she felt like she reached a place were she felt like she accomplished all that she could, she stopped. No disappointment, no resentment, just a sense that she experienced something new, made some friends, learned a skill and that was good enough. While we are certainly blessed to be able to offer her, and her sisters, the opportunities, she also shows her gratitude by helping where she can to alleviate some of the time stresses that happen because of all the extras. We have never felt like we wasted money or time on whimsy.
Along the way, she has discovered that there are indeed some things that she had no idea she would be good at and would love doing. She has transferred personal and physical skills from one activity to the other and I believe has grown as an all around person. Huh, go figure. Try something new and discover something new about yourself along the way. Again. Huh.
This is so not like me. I like to be good at things as soon as I start them. And if I am not, well, to heck with that. I also am not one to jump into things that there is a high possibility that I will not excel at. Why "waste" my valuable time and energy on something if I can’t be the best? How absurd says me. Of course there are time issues and such, but it clearly is more about my need to succeed and be rewarded by winning and being the best, than about stewardship of time or energy.
It causes me to wonder what I avoid because I can’t be or be seen as successful and/or the best? How am I holding myself back from discovering new gifts, passions, skills that may simply help me to grow more fully into who God wants me to be even if – gasp – I am not the best?
I suppose if I truly answered that question, I might have to live it.