You may have noticed that I've been scarce around these parts lately. There are several reasons for that, but one of them is because we have been spending so much time at the ball park. We have been supporting our girl as she chases her dreams all over the softball field. It has been a long and intense journey, but one that we are all learning from. Two men in particular have spent countless hours helping her to learn and to grow. She is learning who she is and what she can accomplish, and they are both standing behind her around every turn. Their words of wisdom are not only helping her, but they are helping me as well. When she first started down this path, we did everything that we could to encourage her. We did everything from seeking out resources for learning and practice, but we also watched countless videos on the internet to do our best to support her as well. We attempted to change her technique and have her emulate those that she admired, and as much as she tried to change and copy others, all that resulted was her being frustrated. After meeting with her wise coach several times, he pointed out all of her wonderful natural tendencies that were unique only to her. All of the things that we had been working to change were the things that he praised her the most for. We had no idea that doing things her own way even though they didn't look the same as the others was okay. We were trying to make her fit into a mold that just didn't fit, and we were attempting to take away the things that were her best assets. We just didn't know. Learning this simple lesson was a huge eye opener for me. The reason that she is good is because she is who she is and not because she does things like someone else. What a novel idea, right? The thought that we should spend more time focusing on things that make her unique instead of trying to take them away and change them was the biggest a-ha moment for me. Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we choose to focus on the good things we see in others, and not recognize them in ourselves just because they are different? This is something I've been trying hard to work on since Seej's coach had this discussion with her. I'm learning that it's a wonderful thing to have heroes in my life. It's inspiring to watch others and want to be better because of it, and it's even okay to admire their work and their talent. It's equally important to recognize our own gifts though because the truth is that while we are admiring someone else, usually someone is admiring us too. I've been reminding my daughter of these things, and silently reminding myself that it's okay to have my own gifts and talents that are unique just to me. I'm so grateful for this journey that my girl is taking. For her courage to do it, for the things she is teaching me, and for the two men that are helping her to learn about her value. We are all learning so much while we are standing behind her.