When I started to awaken today, I knew it was really early. I tried not to look at the clock but couldn’t help myself. It was 4:38 a.m. which wouldn’t have been a problem had I had to go to work this morning, but I didn’t. It’s my day off. I told myself I’d just go back to sleep, but my brain refused to shut off. I just could not stop thinking about something and in the broad scheme of things, I know I’ll probably look back on this one day and find it silly that it pissed me off this much, but not so much at the moment.
Long story short: Kacey was cut from the volleyball team.
Oh… but they offered to “let” her be the team manager. Yeah. Gee, thanks.
I know this is a fate that kids have suffered time and again. It’s one of those life lessons everyone has to learn and we all know it will make us stronger in the long run. But that didn’t help so much last night when I was at my bowling banquet, just waiting for a text message from my girl confirming she made the team and instead I got one telling me she didn’t. Do you know how much it hurts to know how passionate your kid is about something, to know that she’s really good at it, and then have to listen to her crying over the phone, because someone made her think she wasn’t good enough? I wished so much I could wrap her up in one of those mom hugs, but I wasn’t there for her. I might have been better prepared for this if I’d thought things could go either way on this, but it honestly never occurred to me that she wouldn’t make it. And right now, at this moment, it just sucks.
It sucks that she was led to believe she was entitled to a level of confidence about her chances. It sucks that the wonderful varsity coach who led the team over the past many years decided to call it quits after last season. She saw talent in Kacey, gave her a little bit of the spotlight, and told her, in front of all the players and parents at last year’s end-of-season banquet that she expected big things from her this season. Kacey was a leader and she was good. She was a true team player. I’m not one to go around boasting about how good my kids are at their sports. In fact, I’m quite the opposite. I’m proud of them no matter what they do, but I’m also realistic and have never believed any of them were super-stars. But last season, so many others came to me, making it a point to mention how good they thought Kacey was. And it sucks that Kacey wasted her time attending open gym sessions and volleyball camps all summer long in preparation for this season while other players were conspicuously absent. Do you know who else was conspicuously absent from these events? The new coaches. This really pisses me off. They strongly encourage the players to attend all of this summer stuff, some of it at a cost to the parents, and then fail to show up to see what the girls can do? Did they really think they could get a true picture of all of the girls’ abilities over a three-day try-out?
What really ticks me off is who did make the team: A girl who had mono early in the summer and attended no open gym sessions or camps, another who failed to learn the rotations all last season and… I’m sorry, but… one who has a pretty serious weight problem. I just don’t get it. Except… those girls have parents who are pretty involved in the program and are regular volunteers wherever help is needed. I can’t help but wonder if that makes the difference. So now I have one more reason to feel guilt about having to work.
The logical side of me knows that Kacey was a late bloomer in this sport. Her talent really started to emerge last year when she was a high school junior. There were a handful of girls her age who had been playing varsity already for a couple of years. This year, those girls’ positions were pretty much already set. I think Kacey was sandwiched between the well-established players and the up-and-coming younger girls. There are only so many positions on a team and the coaches needed to make sure they had players who could be developed for the coming years. They didn’t want to load up the team with a bunch of seniors who would all be leaving after this season. I’ve seen this same thing happen before. Both of my boys have had similar experiences in soccer and football.
And so all this has happened and I’m so riled up about it that I couldn’t sleep this morning. But once again, my daughter has proven to me why I’m so proud of her no matter what. As much as she was hurting over this, when I came home from my banquet last night, I found her sitting in the living room with two of her good friends, contemplating whether she might now look for a job or…whether the three of them should volunteer to manage the boys’ soccer team. They giggled over that one, but I think they’re pretty serious. Hey, if you can’t play one of your favorite sports, why not spend your time hanging around a bunch of athletic boys instead?
And if I have to look at the bright side, I can now remember that Kacey has not only agreed to play fall softball, which begins this weekend, but was encouraged by the varsity softball coach at school to play on a winter team as well, in preparation for the school season this spring. (Silly me. Just a couple of months ago, I thought the softball days were coming to an end.) So it’s not like we’re not going to be busy anyway! I told Kacey she could also think about bowling with her old mom, but she brushed off that idea pretty quickly!
Well, at least I know she’s going to be okay and that is what’s really important.