Sunday, March 4, 2018

Hard Work

I'm attempting to write everyday in March.Today is 4/31.

From my parents I learned the value of hard work. They lead by example, showing me a work ethic that is unparalleled to anyone else I've known in my lifetime. Both my husband and I have attempted to teach this to our boys. While, like most kids, they frustrate me on a daily basis, I do see them following in our footsteps and that gives me hope. And while there are many examples of their effort, they are both good students and have drive to achieve their goals, this weekend saw clear examples of how they can set their mind to a goal and work to achieve it.

Liam is our youngest. He has had to follow in his brother's footsteps, which is difficult. Luke has had a lot of success in sports. Liam has had to work for it. For the past three years, Liam has not made the basketball teams he tried out for. In fifth and sixth grade, that was a travel team. This year it was the school's team. While he has a good shot, he is not aggressive. He also needed to improve his speed. This year he came home after finding out he didn't make the middle school team and I knew he would be crushed. I was surprised when he walked in, tears being held back, and requested immediately to do an acceleration camp this winter along with the Y's basketball team. After failing to meet his goal three years in a row, I had kind-of expected him to be ready to move on. He has taught me more than anyone else about determination and not giving up simply because something is hard. I have a feeling that this will take him far in life as a result.

Luke has a drive that I cannot put words to describe. While he's always worked hard in sports, it was in middle school that we saw a switch. He began to make goals at the end of every season and actually achieved them. In seventh grade he began running and found a success and two sports - Track and Cross Country - where he loved the team dynamic. He's gone to state numerous times, found success there. Even so, I'll forget just how good he is. This year he came home and said he wanted to run varsity as a freshman. I had my doubts, but he did it. On track he told me he wanted to run a sub five minute mile. Considering my mile is closer to 15 minutes, I just raised my eyebrows at him. Yesterday he ran it and his time was 4:41. I've learned not to doubt him. Now his goal is below 4:30 by the end of the season, below 4:00 by the end of high school. I firmly believe he can do anything he sets his mind to, so I bet those goals will be met.

They say your kids are always watching, learning from their parents and the adults around them. I believe that is true, but the reverse is as well. Every day my boys teach me something and so do my students. Every. Single. Day. I constantly say that children are the best of us, and I believe that deep into my bones. So while my parents taught me something about work ethic, and that has permeated down to our sons, my boys have taught me something about perseverance and determination too. Through them I continue to grow and learn.