Mom And Dad Will Always Love You This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   So there I was, on the day of my big gymnastics meet. I had dreamed of this day for months - how perfect I would be, how proud my parents would be, how I would lead my teammates to thrilling victory. Boy, was I wrong! Instead of holding my head up high and walking off the first place podium with the gold medal hanging around my neck, I was sitting watching my competition receive medals as I tried to hold back my tears.

I had worked so hard. I had performed perfectly in practice. What went wrong? I felt I had let myself down, and my team, not to mention my parents and my coach. The immense feeling of pride I had once had now accumulated into a cluster of sharp spikes that jabbed the inside of my stomach. Everyone knew I had failed - it was no use hiding from my failure.

And as if this wasn't bad enough, I had to face dinner with my mom and dad. I could hear it now, "Megan, what happened out there today? Have you not been working out hard enough?" It was going to be the longest, most painful dinner ever.

After the meet, I reluctantly went over to the group of spectators and my mom. My head drooped and my eyes never left the floor - until I came upon my mother. As I slowly lifted my head, to my astonishment, my mother greeted me with a huge smile, and a hug. I didn't understand. Didn't I let them down?

"Hey, Meg," my mom said. "don't be so hard on yourself. You did fine. There will be other meets." What? I didn't understand. "I'm so proud of you," she kissed me again. She wasn't upset with how I did.

We got into the car, and drove to the restaurant where we were meeting my dad. Yeah, okay, maybe my mom wasn't upset, but I wasn't off the hook yet. I still had to face my father. I could hear him now, "Megan, you let the whole team down." Oh, how I wished I didn't have to go to dinner!

We got to the restaurant, and there was my dad, waiting for me, waiting to scold me. He walked toward me, and I put my head down. I closed my eyes and held my breath. Time seemed to stand still. When I opened my eyes I was embraced in the warming clutches of my father's bear hug. He patted me on the back. "Well, Meg," he said, "some days are like that. You can't win them all. You know, when I played football, I didn't score a touchdown every time I stepped on the field. In fact, I scored very few!" I almost fainted! I couldn't believe no one was mad. I was in a daze.

I eventually realized what had happened. I let my perfectionist side take over. I didn't let anyone down, not even me. I was being silly, thinking my parents would be mad. Why should they be? They think I'm amazing when I do a cartwheel or a somersault. I know I didn't do my very best, but as my dad said, "Some days are like that." I learned that you have to shrug it off and try even harder the next time. But, most importantly, I learned, as my mother always says, "Mom and Dad will always love you." l


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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