We all have those moments where we’re extremely proud of our children, and then we have those moments where we’re just flat out disappointed in them. And you know what, that goes for myself as well.

I feel like a slacker and total disappointment right now because it’s Tuesday night, and my blog is due tomorrow. No inspiration has come to me. In moments like this, I tend to question myself. “Am I forcing my expectations?”

This is life. Moments of disappointment. Moments of pure joy.

As I sit here typing words, deleting words, forcing thoughts, my husband texts me and suggest blogging about our daughter’s past weekend softball tournament. A weekend that started out as a disappointment and quickly turned into a weekend to remember. I decided to pen a letter to my daughter discussing how what seemed like a huge disappointment actually led to one of my proudest moments.

Dear Softball Playing Daughter,

I have been you. I have played through the exciting games. I have played through the games where I fought confidence at the plate. I have played through the games where frustration just ate at me and tears welled up in my eyes. I have played through the games where one play changed the momentum of the game.

During your first game over the weekend, I saw how well you played. I saw you throw out a girl at home plate from center field. I saw how well you hit the ball during that game. Yet I saw your tears. I saw your frustration. I saw how badly you wanted to win that game, but it wasn’t meant to be for that game. Everyone saw those moments of disappointment. Little did you know, or anyone else, that moments of pure joy were about to happen over the next seven games.

When I think about the next seven games, I smile because all the hard work that many of you started putting in during the off-season was showing up. I smile because everything was left on the field every game. I smile because even during those innings of adversity, your team pulled together with a positive mindset.

However, what makes me the most proud is the love your team has for each other. Did you realize you leaped about ten feet in the air, did a double fist-pump, all while you were running the bases for your teammate who just hit the ball over the fence? You were excited for her. This was a moment of pure joy. I had a mom text me after the weekend: “I love watching the way your daughter is so encouraging to others and is happier for their success than she is for her own.”

As a ten-year-old, this was not you. As a fifteen-year-old this IS you. You faced adversity with a broken thumb, and that season allowed you to practice and grow into the encouraging person you are today. And this makes me proud.

Yet this is not all about you. You can see it transforming your team. I wish you all could sit back and just listen to the encouraging words that were being shared in the dugout and on the field. True servant leadership is on display. Your teammate who was pretty deflated, you all encouraged her, helped her gain some confidence. Yes, I know, I can hear you saying, “Mom, I get it!” But I want you to know, when you put others ahead of yourself, great things happen.

Always remember through the moments of disappointment and the moments of joy to be committed. Be committed to your coaches, their training and their game plan. Be committed to the weight room. Be committed to practices. Be committed to your teammates. Be committed to discipline. Be committed to encouraging others. Be committed to the love of the game. Be committed to the process because you will end up loving the journey.

I thank you for allowing me to be part of your journey, the disappointment, and the joy.

Love, Your Mom

This is life. Moments of disappointment. Moments of pure joy.

The question becomes “How do we respond to these moments?” Do we enjoy them? Do we allow the disappointment to scream at us and flood our thoughts? Do we learn from these moments? For me, I’m going to take what I witnessed this weekend and know, no matter what pitch comes at us, I can be an inspiration to all of those around me.

Shelly Mowinkel

Shelly Mowinkel

K-12 & Teens

My husband and I have three kids. Our oldest is a freshman in high school, and our youngest is in second grade. Most days, I feel like we are a “tag-team chauffeuring” service, yet I wouldn’t have our life any other way. Not only I am a business/technology teacher at Milford, I am also the district technology integration specialist. I love teaching because I get the opportunity to make those around me better. My hope is that, through my blogging, I am able to inspire, encourage, and share with you my adventures of being a wife, mother, and professional.

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