Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Life of a Volleyball Mom

On the second day of school, Peanut decided she wanted to try out for volleyball.  Her second day in a brand new school, and she was ready to get on a bus full of kids she didn't know, travel to another school she's never been to, and try a sport she's never played.  My kid has guts of steel.

I would never have done something like that when I was in school.  I may have if the tryouts were in my school, with the people I had at least met... but the way it works in my work school district is different.  All the kids that play various sports get on a bus at 3pm that have already picked up the kids from the other schools, are bused to the district high school, and that's where all the sports are played.  Then, at 5:30pm, all the kids from all the schools in the district load back up and go back to their home schools. 

And Peanut decided it's something she wanted to do starting her second day.  And so she did.

The first few days were a little rocky.  She didn't know anyone or anything about the sport.  The only sport Peanut has ever played is softball - and she hasn't played that in two years.  But, she wanted something different to go with her new life.  She quickly found out that there were 36 girls trying out for the team, and only half would make it.  Her immediate reactions were that she wasn't going to make the team because she was new, but she was going to give it her best shot.  Yeah, I know, she's amazing.. isn't she?

Well, yesterday was THE day.  Everyone was going to find out if they made the team.  While Peanut is at practice, I stay at school and work.  I have no idea what goes on at practice.  I've never met the coach.  All I do know is that everyday, it's all Peanut has talked about.  And she was finally going to find out her volleyball fate.

At the end of practice, Peanut received a letter - along with all the other girls.  They were all told not to open the letter until they were off school grounds.  That's because half of the letters were delivering good news, and the other half delivering bad news.

When the bus pulled in the parking lot, and Peanut got off the bus, I didn't like the look on her face.  She got in the car, pulled out the letter, and gave me a sad look.  I was crushed.  I had a niggling feeling that she may not make the team because of her being new.  I didn't want to think that way, but I also wanted to be prepared for the worst.

And I then noticed a little smile start to form in the corner of her mouth.  The smile got bigger.  Then she just said "I made it".  It was then as if a gun had gone off for a race - because she started talking 100 miles a minute about her waiting to get on the bus to read it, reading the first line that said "Thank you for trying out for the volleyball team" and thinking it was a Dear John letter similar to those I had received from all of the schools turning me down for jobs.   Until she noticed the bold print at the bottom of the letter "Welcome to the team!"

I genuinely happy for her.  This is such a big deal for both of us.  I've have longed for years to have the soccer mom title - and now, I guess I'm a volleyball mom.

Being on the team is going to mean a lot of extra demands for both of us.  It means I have to continue staying at the school until 6pm each night while she's at practice.  It will mean that Peanut has to find time to get her homework done when she gets home.  It will mean games that are miles away - and late nights home..sometimes having to pick her up around or after 10pm on a school night.  It will mean having to buy equipment like knee pads, practice balls, and uniforms.  But I don't care one bit - I will do all of it and more to make her happy.

One thing that I'm excited about that I haven't even mentioned to Peanut is the physical demands.  I really love the fact that she's going to be working out - hard - every day.  Not that she needs it.  But, playing sports in school is a great way to stay in shape, and dodge the bullet of getting sucked in to the problems associated with childhood obesity.  If she gets in to the mentality of enjoying exercise now, while she's only 12, I'm hoping that it will be a lifelong passion.  Unlike her mother, who never did any form of sports while in school.

AND, it may also help push me to get back in to working out, at least on the weekends.  If she needs to jog or practice or anything physical on the weekends - I'll be right along side her doing it.  It will be good for her to be able to run circles around me, and it will be good for me to hate that she can run circles around me.  It will spark my competitive side and push me to try my best to keep up and give her a run for her money.

Regardless of the benefits and demands of Peanut playing a sport, I'm just really happy that Peanut has found something she loves doing.  Something that will take her mind off of being unhappy about having to switch schools.  That girl jumped straight in to the deep end of letting go.  She's struggled a little making some friends - not that anyone has been mean to her, but it's been tough trying to mingle with kids who have all known each other since kindergarten.  And now she has a chance of making some really close friends by playing ball.  Not only that, but volleyball isn't the end.  She has told me she wants to try out for student council, basketball when it comes around, stay in band, try out for the basketball team when the time comes, and do anything else she has the chance of doing.  The girl is so like me it's not even funny.

Butter will have all of these chances next year - and wow, won't that be fun.  He wants to play football, basketball, and baseball.  Then I'll have two kids playing different sports.  I can already feel the energy being drained out of me.

But for right now, I will bask in the happiness I'm feeling.  Peanut is stepping out of her comfort zone and trying new things.  Butter has been doing great in school, and seems to be really enjoying himself.

He informed me that he got in to a little scuffle with a kid, yesterday.  And the best part was that A) I hadn't heard about it until he told me about it and B) He told me about it rather than keeping it from me.  I have a brand new son in the making.  I love the fact that what happens in his classroom stays in his classroom, unless he tells me about it.  I LOVE the fact that he brought a book home yesterday - and was ACTUALLY READING IT.  I love how his teacher is challenging him to read and do things Butter never really cared to do.

Everything is going so great.  Even the cats are getting along better.  Katniss has upgraded from hissing like a rabid snake to pouncing on the kittens constantly.  She has taken up playing with them - although I think it's a little too rough.  She seems to think the kittens enjoy wrestling with her, giving her piggy back rides, and playing tag.  The kittens, on the other hand, are just as bad - they may cry and whine when Katniss does all those things... but they keep going back for more.

Someone give me a big chunk of wood to knock on....cause life couldn't be more perfect right now.

Till next time.  ;)

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  1. Awwww!! Yay for Peanut & Butter!! What great stories! Congrats on becoming a volleyball mom! It's a great sport - I played for several years in high school!!

  2. That is awesome she was so excited to try something new and congrats to her on making the team! I try to keep my kids involved in things too so they don't have the same issues I had as well.


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