Today one of my sons and I sat in the car a little longer than everyone else. He told me that there was a new study group formed with in his grade and he didn’t realize they only chose certain kids. When he asked the teacher when he would get to go, the teacher said he wouldn’t. He wasn’t chosen.

My son told me this and curled his skinned knees up under his chin, and pulled his cap down over his eyes. We sat there in silence as I watched his huge tears drops cascade down onto his knees.


And I sat there and prayed that I would have the right words to say…

Somehow the words just escaped me.

So I let him cry, and I rested my hand on his neck and said “That. Is. So. Tough.”

And he began to speak to me about how hard he was trying, and how he wants to be included…how now he is wondering why he’s not smart enough, why his friends are there, what he did wrong…

And I just listened as I watched my child, cry his eyes out, and watched him question all of the things that were so raw in him and wide open. Hurt and Embarrassment. Disappointment. And everything that comes when you start to think that you are not good enough. Because it starts when we’re kids.

If only I’d done my homework they’d still be married.

If I had eaten my vegetables he would still be alive.

If I wore my purple dress, she’d still be my best friend.

What did I do wrong?

And it continues into adolescence.

If only I was prettier, I’d be more popular.

If only I’d ran a little faster, I’d have made the team.

If only I cleaned my room, they would stopped fighting.

What did I do wrong?

And into High School and College.

If only I’d been better, she’d still like me.

If only I’d gotten a little better score, I would have gotten into a better school.

If only I was a little skinnier.

What did I do wrong?

And then into adulthood.

If only I’d avoided caffeine I would still be pregnant with her.

If only I could be better at time management I’d be a better Mother.

If only I’d loved her more, we’d still be married.

And the “if only” slowly crushes us. Crushes our spirits.

So I sat and listened and I hugged him and we talked. And I came in and put into words what I said and hope he reads over the years…

You. My beautiful amazing boy. You try so hard. And it’s hard to not be included, and I wish I could tell you that it gets easier. But what I know is that you are the first person to step in and sacrifice your place at a table. You are the first person to say Thank you, and will always offer to help out. You are smart because you think beyond school and sports, and even this year. You think of how you can be better all the time, and that is a million times smarter than most adults I know. You always try to do the right thing. Which is hard, because sometimes that means that no matter how hard you try you won’t make the team or the group. But that doesn’t mean you weren’t good enough, it just means it wasn’t what God had for you right now. And I know you’re hurt and embarrassed. I know you’re disappointed but what you prove to me day after day, is that someday when you choose the path God is calling you to–you will live it, and you give your heart and soul. And that is what matters. You matter. You didn’t do anything wrong. You always try and in this house, that is enough. You are right where you are meant to be. And we are so proud of you. God has big plans for you. -Mom.


Is a part of life.

But it also is the part that crushes.

This is the part of parenting that constantly tugs and pulls, because no matter what…they can’t always be the best, and they aren’t always included. And it hurts.

And it never goes away. As an adult.

Today my words escaped because I know too well that hurt. That raw. And it’s a million times worse watching my child feel it. But I also know what I see…

And I see my son.

Who is amazing, in so many tremendous beautiful ways. So in those moments as I listened to him…I plead to God.

Please. Please. Let him know he is enough.

Because you have chosen him for Greatness.

My boy with skinned knees and a heart of gold is more than enough always, because even when my words escape…I know you comfort your chosen.

In our house, he is always chosen.