Stubborn tears streaked down his 7-year-old cheeks. Determination to do as well as his brother at snowboarding had lead to frustration and anger coming out sideways through tears when he couldn’t quite measure up—at least not in his own eyes.

As I locked eyes with my younger son from across the room, I saw a familiar pain in his eyes—the struggle to want to succeed and do well no matter what.

He walks towards me, holding back more tears he hates to shed, especially in front of others. I pull him close, trying not to make him feel like a baby, as I whisper in his ear:

It’s your first time, bud. It’s okay to fall. Donnie’s a lot older than you. You’ll get it. It takes time. You’re doing really well.

He nods as his eyes fixate on the floor, listening to my words. He exhales as he looks into my eyes, finding the reassurance from a mother who understands what it is like to not want to ever fail.

But he’s just learning something it took me years to accept: It’s okay to fail.

This morning I forgot what day of the week it was. If it weren’t for school and the few activities my kids are in each week, I may never remember the dates as the year rolls on with no clear differentiation between one 24-hour period and the next. At times, life can seem rote and mundane.

My forgetfulness isn't because I don’t have things to do; in fact, if you haven’t heard we’re writing a book. WE’RE. WRITING. A. BOOK. And after having four deadlines this summer and, now, looming edits due to our editor (the second of which just passed, thank you, Jesus), I feel extra pressure to put my head down and whittle away at stories a little at a time. Sometimes I forget the joy, the magnitude of seeing a dream fulfilled with the pressure to actually do the work that it takes to finish the project. (Dreams have a way of being way more work than you ever imagined, who knew?)