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Sunday, March 17, 2013

When losing stings



Slice 17 of 31

Red flushed Boy's cheeks.  From the look on his face, he held the emotions in-the kind when you have the gigantic lump in the back of your throat and feel like you'll puke any second...and people around the boy say things like, "What's wrong with him? Why does he look like that? How come his cheeks are so flushed?"

In the think bubble above her head, Boy's mother says, "You don't know him if you don't know what's wrong!"  He's disappointed that he just lost a race with a car he put his heart into making.  He wants to blubber like a baby while trying to save face with his friends around him.  He wants to scream in frustration, "why can't my car be the winner for once?"...

Thus was our night at the Pinewood Derby...the third year in a row where losing stings like an angry bee.  And oh, how the cliches fly...you tried your best, can't win them all, wait til next year, the important thing is you had fun...blah, blah, blah...can we please acknowledge that it sucks to lose?  There is no way to sugarcoat the feelings you have when your car does not win-it just stings like wet hands in cold air, like a raw throat when eating ice cream too fast, like the pinch of the needle in your gums at the dentist!  Losing just stings...

11 comments:

  1. You know your kid Amy and it's too bad that there's only one winner. It's a shame that he can't see beyond the win/lose structure of life. It's happening with my partner's grandson in theater.
    But we know that there is more to this. He is building skills and passion that will serve him well down the road. He just can't know that now...
    It's tough being a kid. And he has you :)

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  2. Without any boys, I don't know much about a Pinewood Derby, but I can feel the passion in your post. I love the way that you capture the emotion of the day.

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  3. I love the way you step back while at the same time being so intimate - the Boy, thought bubble. You capture that feeling. Awful.

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  4. It totally sucks to lose - we never won, even once, no matter how hard we tried or how inventive we became. We did get better, though. All I can say is this: my 20 year old son looks back on those days and does not remember the sting of defeat, he remember the lovely shared experiences of building the cars - the ever-losing, totally sucking cars.

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  5. You painted the struggle with disappointment so vividly. I could see how you wanted to shield your son from the pain of losing. What a snapshot of time.

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  6. Losing stings when you put your all into it. There IS no way to sugar coat it. For that you are right.

    What a slice, Amy! You really had me feeling the emotions he felt every step of the way.

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  7. Oh Amy you are so right! Losing does suck and there are NO words that make you feel better! I remember those day...the Pine Wood Derby and how awful my nephew felt when he lost and that's exactly what I wanted to say..losing sucks honey...and you won't feel better thinking about next year!

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  8. Losing does suck and how do you explain that to a child to learn from the experience? Words are at a loss, but validate his feelings. It's okay to be mad, sad, frustrated, angry, disappointed, and happy (it's done and over with) at the same time!

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  9. Yes, losing sucks, especially at the moment. Sometimes we just have to sit with it awhile before we can move on. He's lucky to have you for a mom who is willing to let him experience those emotions rather than deny or rush through them.

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  10. Losing is hard for anyone but for a youngster who put is all into his car, it must have been devastating. Yes it sucks - and we as parents can't do anything to sugarcoat it.
    What n honest, heartfelt post Amy.

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  11. I miss going to Pinewood Derbies! My youngest will be up next in less than a year. Can't wait now!

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