I was born to a family who thrilled at the joy of language who thought deeply and contemplated the mysteries of life. I remember as a child the excitement and joy I felt as my family sat around the dinner table or wood stove or perhaps just stood around in the kitchen while dinner was being prepared and enjoyed the beauty of discussion. I don't remember ever feeling like what I said was of no value. I never felt mocked or ridiculed by others. Teased, yes but with the understanding that I had said something worth being teased about, and I learned to laugh at myself. I'm so grateful to have learned to speak to think and apply the lessons of life to my life.
I have had an amazing experience with the girls volleyball team. Truthfully, I haven't loved it. It's been a hard three months, with the understanding that things that are hard help us to learn and grow. The girls have had a ruff season. They are an extremely talented bunch of girls with a lot of ability and potential. The thing that I hadn't anticipated or remembered about high school girls is what has made it difficult for me. I forgot how emotional and moody high school girls are. They are at an age where they are developing emotionally. They are trying to learn where they fit in this world. You have some girls that are reserved and quiet who sink into the background and seem to be the brunt of meanness You have some that think they are somehow extremely important and have to make all the decisions in life for themselves and all those who want to be considered special enough to have their attention or leadership. You have some who are tender hearted and full of compassion and love for those around them who aren't really considered part of the "group" It hurts them but it's not that important. You have some girls who spend their time brown nosing all the people who seem to be "cool" and never seem to be happy when they get their attention. You have the girls with immense dreams who deep down know that they aren't quite as good as they would like but nevertheless continue to work hard and dream big. You have the girls that cover up their hurts and pain with loudness. Those that cover their pains with pouting. and on...and on....
So, yes this has been a long and trying three months that I wouldn't trade for anything. I've remembered how hard it is to grow up. I've remembered who I was as a teenager. I have tried, perhaps a little to hard, to teach these girls that despite their age and maturity it is possible to work together as a team. At our last game we were on our third set. we play up to five sets with the winner winning three of the five. Our first set we lost 24 to 25 very close and exciting set. The second set we fell apart and were clobbered I called a time out at one point and had the girls circle up and then told them to turn around they looked at me kind of strangely but did it. I explained to them that they were coming together as a team but they were doing it with their back to each other. I asked them if they could see how useless it was to try to solve their problems with out facing each other and really communicating.. The third set we played neck and neck with the opposing team being down most of the game. At one point we were down by two or three so I called a time out. I asked the girls if winning the game took as simple a thing as talking to each other on the floor and encouraging each other and really coming together why wouldn't they do it. when the score was 25 to 25 the girls refused to quit and began fighting as a team. They wanted to win...BAD. because you have to win by two points we had a rally that went back and forth for probably 30 minutes...or so it seemed... the final score ended up being 35 to 33 (I think) with us loosing. Not a bad thing. I was so excited to see these girls finally look each other in the face and seem to figure out how to pull together and let go of all the inequality amongst them and start to play together. It was, simply said, beautiful.
We now face Region on Friday and Possibly state the next weekend. I hope and, yes, pray that these girls will be able to remember what they learned and apply it in these last games of the season. It has been a long and difficult season, with a lot of learning involved. I just hope that the girls know that it has all been worth it. I hope I can remember all the lessons I've learned and be able to do as I learned in my youth and apply these lessons to my life and use them as I continue to raise my children.