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My son shoots a lacrosse ball through my neighbors window!

I got a call a few weeks ago at work that really upset me. It was my wife, Melanie, and she told me our oldest son, Luke, just shot his lacrosse ball through the neighbor’s bay window.

“Whaaattttt???!!!!” I said.

And for about 10 seconds, I could feel my blood pressure rising.

And then I took about 3 deep breaths and thought about how to best handle this.

All I could think about was what a knucklehead I was when I was a kid.
Broken windows & doors from errant football throws or baseball hits or soccer kicks…
Breaking my friend Bobby Wood’s trailer-light by trying to climb onto its roof while playing hide-and-seek…
Throwing dirt-bombs and snowballs at moving vehicles…
Breaking the “For-Sale” sign on our house by throwing a football through it in 8th grade because I didn’t want my house to sell. I actually thought that if there wasn’t a sign on our house, that it would not sell (Sorry Mom, I’m not even sure you knew that one yet!).
Like bona-fide stupid things.

So when I got home that night, Luke was petrified. He was scared as to what I was going to say or that I was going to yell at him. Or worse off, that we were going to have to sell his lacrosse goal to pay for the bay window.

Now let me tell you how much he LOVES lacrosse.

He practices it morning, afternoon, and night. He plays on the local team. He wants to sign up for about 3 different camps this summer. And just last week he told me he wants to go to lax camp at Notre Dame or Johns Hopkins this summer. Yes, he LOVES lacrosse.

But it was time for a “life lesson.”

I sat Luke down, got down to his level and looked at his teary-eyes and quivering lips and said this:

“Luke, I understand you made a mistake today. You took an errant shot and it went through the neighbor’s window. Now we are NOT going to sell your goal. But we are going to go over to the neighbor’s house and you need to apologize. And you need to tell them that we will pay for the window” (learning to say sorry).

“And you need to come up with the funds for the cost of the window to repay it” (teaching work ethic).

We proceeded next door begrudgingly and Luke did an awesome job communicating his mistake. He was relieved that we dealt with it… and that he was not going to have to sell his coveted goal.

Later that night while going to bed, I told Luke & Brady the dumb things that I did when I was a kid. They were cracking up and smiling and asking questions why I would do such things. I simply said there was a time in my life that I was a knucklehead and did dumb things also.

Most importantly, I did NOT want to squelch Luke’s PASSION for practice. I didn’t want to have one honest mistake ruin his desire to play a sport he loved. And I wanted them to go to bed smiling and laughing, instead of crying.

So the next morning, we were out there practicing again before school. And this time, the goal was in a different area.

Sometimes in life we miss shots. Heck, sometimes they go so errant that they break windows.

But never stop shooting… never stop practicing. For it is in the practice that we hone our craft, fuel our passion, and get GREAT at what we love to do

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