Sunday, May 2, 2010

Resilience 101

My young son is a fighter. He has guts and resilience. More than his old mother. Right now he is fencing against eight other great fencers to be one of the few selected to go to Nationals in Atlanta this summer.

Nationals is a huge deal. My oldest son is going. Will has gone twice before but this year he has to qualify. The last few years, just showing up to the tournaments qualified you for Nationals.

And I'm sitting here, holding my breath.

Will can't move his left ankle or knee and this leg is much shorter than his right one. So you can imagine how much harder this is for him.

He just fenced all the fencers and beat 3 of them. Then he went up against a better fencer for direct elimination--and he lost.

Now, he has two more bouts to see if he beats one of them and qualifies for a trip to Nationals.

I know he will be fine if he doesn't win. But I want him to win so badly. He loves to compete and despite his handicap puts himself out there every single day. I know this would mean the world to him. But I also know that he will take the loss in stride like everything else.

But my heart breaks as I wait. And I wait wondering what this all means to him. Through my lens, I worry. But Will understands his handicap and deals. But at some level, doesn't it bother him terribly?

We all have handicaps. And Will has learned at a young age how to face challenges and overcome them. But I would just love to see him win something. For him. He loves sports and is so athletically inclined.

So, I wait. Baited breath and all. And I'm proud. And I love him so very much.

Tomorrow, my older son runs for student body president. He is putting himself out there in a really different way. And for him this is a big deal.

But if Kyle doesn't win, I know that he will learn from the experience. For Will, I'm just sick of all the learning and resilience he has had to bare. "Enough," I want to scream.

Win or not, he is the ultimate winner to me.


  1. Oh, Terry! I'm seeing this through exactly the same lens of motherhood you're looking through. My heart is full of anticipation, worry, and pride right along with yours. Your boys sound wonderful!

  2. Terry, I know this to be true, Will is a winner in so many ways to so many people and for so many reasons; his spirit, tenacity, kindness, endurance, intelligence, athleticism, and darned hard work. Just thought you should know how well loved and respected he is.

    Congratulations Will for yet another amazing accomplishment!


  3. I can't believe I missed three posts, Terry.

    It's so hard to suffer for our children, especially when we don't want them to know we're suffering and they aren't suffering themselves. He's an amazing kid!

  4. Winners all! Remember the feeling of winning, after the fear of losing was so intense? It's all the better! Terry, I love reading your great stories because I get such wonderful imagery from them. I love the story of Will and his tenacity of spirit. What a winner he is! Good luck to you all in Atlanta!