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For years, Sam had dreamed of being the best tennis player in the world. He went to tennis practice every single morning and every single night. He spent every summer at tennis camp, and he gave up long weekends at the beach to work on his game. Now, it seemed his hard work was finally paying off: He was invited to try out for the state tennis team!
Still, there was something that was bothering Sam. The tryouts for the tennis team were on the same day as his mom’s birthday, and he knew his family was planning a huge surprise party for her. He didn’t want to hurt his mom’s feelings by missing the party, but he also didn’t want to miss his one shot at being a champion tennis player. He was in a quandary; he didn’t know what to do.
For days, Sam went to bed worrying about the decision. If he went to the tryout, he worried he would seem selfish. If he stayed home, he would miss his one big shot at making the state team. In fact, despite the honor of being invited to try out, he hadn’t even told his family about the opportunity. He was so stressed about making the decision of whether to go that he couldn’t even think about sharing the news.
Weeks went by, and Sam was making no progress. Every day his coach asked him if he was ready for the tryout, and Sam couldn’t even respond. Finally, Sam couldn’t bear the stress any longer. He decided to talk to his grandfather about his predicament.
“You know, your mom wants you to be happy,” he told Sam. “It would be a great birthday present for her to know you are making your dream come true.”
Sam had never thought of it that way before, and after talking to his grandfather, he knew what he had to do. He immediately went home and sat down with his parents to let them know about the opportunity to try out for the state team. When Sam apologetically told his parents what day the tryouts were, they were so busy shrieking with excitement that he thought maybe they hadn’t heard.
“But Mom, that means I’m going to miss your birthday,” Sam said. “I am happy you are being so nice about it, but I still feel really bad.”
“Are you kidding?” his mom asked? “This is the best present I could ask for!”
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