It's just an honor to be nominated right? That's what the Oscar nominees always say but sometimes you can still see the look of defeat in their eyes before the obligatory clapping.
In hockey State Championships though I don't think the kids feel honored to be nominated.
Since my daughter's mite year she's always the bridesmaid and never the bride..meaning she's never had a first place finish with her team. EVER. And I am pretty sure that is pissing her off.
Case in point, state championships a couple weeks ago. Positioned well in 2nd place we had to play our biggest rivals, a team we hadn't beaten since the beginning of the season. And that weekend wasn't going to be the exception. No "miracle on ice" for us, no last minute rally resulting in a very close win.
Nope. We lost big time.
I won't tell you by how much because that is not the point of this story. The point is the heartbreak in which my goalie brought me all of her medals and the trophy she's received since she started playing.
and of course...
I looked at the medals and trophy strewn across my bed and carefully decided how I was going to handle this.
I told her that 2nd place DOES matter. That this isn't some Will Ferrell, Ricky Bobby logic where "if you ain't first, you're last". What matters is how you played to the best of your ability, held your head high and finished out the season with dignity and sportsmanship.
I don't know if the message completely got through because after all she is twelve and the loss was rough. I told her it was completely natural to feel that way. Along with..
But what I really wanted to tell her is that her time is coming.
It might not be in hockey, but she wasn't always going to finish in 2nd place in life. I wanted to tell her that she WILL finish first if she can only remember what she is learning now, while wearing that silver around her neck.
THAT will be the biggest win of them all.