Monday, February 9, 2015
When Ryenne came to us last year and told us she wanted to try out for the high school volleyball team, I was a little stunned. And worried. After all, this is the girl who has never played on a sports team (except one year of kindergarten soccer maybe?) She is an talented ballerina and has taken since she was five years old. So I'm not saying she's not an athlete, because believe me. If you have ever watched a pointe ballet class, you couldn't say those kids aren't athletes. That takes some serious skills.
But still, she definitely hadn't played volleyball before. These days, it seems like you have a to play a sport from the time you're in diapers in order to make the high school team! I was worried she wouldn't make it. I worried she'd be devastated and embarrassed. And if I'm being completely honest, I was worried that I would be embarrassed (sad but true). I wondered how to politely suggest that she might not be suited to volleyball. I stewed and worried about this (amongst the rest of things mothers of middle school aged children worry about). One morning, I was doing just this as I was cleaning the house when a clear answer came into my head, telling me that it didn't really matter if she made the team or not.
I knew that much of what I was worrying about was out of my control, and further, not that important in the whole scheme of things. I was reminded to focus on what I could control- the things that we are doing and teaching in our home, and that as I did these most important things, our children would would be better able to get through the ups and downs that they will face as they grow. Not a promise that they wouldn't have struggles or make poor decisions- just that there are "big things" and "little things" and that I needn't worry about the little things.
That little morning lesson continues to bless my life. This agency part of parenting is pretty advanced material.
Anyway. That was a long way of explaining how I felt as we ventured into the uncharted world of volleyball :).
The first time I picked up Ryenne from open gym last Spring, she got into the car and broke into tears. She was definitely out of her comfort zone. We had a little chat about her choices: 1) she could quit or 2) she could stick it out. She could go for it, knowing that she would feel uncomfortable and have to work twice as hard as everyone else but really, what did she have to lose? She knew her chances of not making the team were pretty high, but we talked that if it didn't pan out, it wasn't the end of the world.
She received word, via email, on my birthday- welcoming her on the high school freshman volleyball team. I remember she fell to her knees and started crying (the happy kind!)
So proud of Ryenne. Not for making the team (which was a great thing!), but for pushing herself beyond what was familiar and doing hard things. So many lessons were learned those few months, both by her and her parents! Most importantly, we are learning that our world doesn't hinge on our extra curricular activities! Those will come and go, but what we do in our home is what will really make the difference. (Hopefully we can do enough good to help outweigh all the future therapy issues we create!) Who knows what the next three years of high school will bring, but I'm learning that this girl is made of pretty good stuff. I admire her and her courage.
So glad I've got these kiddos around to help me figure life out.
Everyone always asks why Ryenne wears a different colored jersey. She wore red because of her position. (Her dad would say it's because she's an odd ball, which may have a little truth to it :)