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Try and Try Again...

You can do it. Never give up. Push your limits. Believe in yourself. These are some of the pep talks we give ourselves every day. As adults, we are accustomed to the ups and downs of life; the victories and the disappointments. It doesn’t mean that it’s any easier, but we understand that things won’t always go our way.

Somehow, it’s different when it comes to our children. We want them to be happy, to succeed, and to be protected. 

My daughter decided in 3rd grade to run for class representative. Despite her best efforts, she was not selected. In 4th grade, the stakes were higher when she ran for student body Vice President.  There were twenty-five kids running for the same office.  It didn’t take a math major to realize that the odds were not good. Yet again, she did not achieve her goal.  So this year when it came time for elections, I secretly hoped that she would try again.  I didn’t want to push, but I was ecstatic when she informed me that she was going to run for school Historian.  That’s my girl! 

We worked on posters, a slogan and her speech that she would give in front of the entire student body.  She was committed to doing her best.  But when my husband started advising her on what it was going to take to win, things started to go downhill.  He said, “You need to shake at least 25 new hands every single day between now and the election if you want a chance at winning.” “But Dad”, she exclaimed, “That’s not how it works…it’s a popularity contest.” 

 As I tucked her into bed that evening, she started weeping and said, “Mom, I can’t become popular in 3 days….I’m never going to win.” My heart was breaking for her as I told her that I was hugely impressed with her tenacity and no matter what happened, I couldn’t be more proud.

I realized in that moment that winning really had nothing to do with the journey. Teaching her to fight for the things that she believed in and to really get going when the going gets tough were more important life lessons.  

And wouldn’t you know…she actually won! I guess the third time really was the charm for her, and proof that perseverance really does pay off.

The next day, my son came home from school and said, “Mom, I ran for class representative and I lost….”  And so the journey begins again.

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