On Friday, we celebrated Senior Night for the Girls Varsity Basketball team.
We recognized these girls, these seniors, on their final home game. These girls, who have given up free time, for team time. They have played together for 7 years now. (most of them for 7 years and some of them have been playing together for 10 years.) Seven years to bond, to be together, kind of like sisters, annoying at times but the bond is undeniable. The IF you mess with 1 sister, you get all the sisters, kind of bond. (Oh I’m not saying that they hurt anyone, but you don’t mess with family.) Seven years together, every afternoon, 2 or 3 evenings a week, countless bus rides, summer camps, and bad jokes, you become family.
At our school the parents write a letter to their senior, the announcer will read the letter as the parents and child walk to center court. The parents give their girls a bouquet of flowers. I hinted to O, and outright asked her. She did NOT want a flower bouquet. She did not want flowers at all. After brain storming and chatting up with some of the moms, at the game the night before, I decided a cookie bouquet would be perfect. I looked at ordering one, but it was too late. Ok, so I looked into it at 10pm the night before senior night. I looked into fruit bouquet too, also not enough time. After morning drop off, I left the babies with a friend, I decided I could easily make one myself. Nope I could not, oh sure I have the skill I really could make them, I just needed more time, 1pm the day of the event to be held at 6:30 was not enough time. When I was buying the cookie stuff I grabbed a few bags of O’s favorite candy bars. I grabbed skewers too. I was so glad I had a back up plan. I made her a dozen “cookie flowers’ and wrapped them like a flower bouquet. She thought it was great.
Because we are just not big candy eaters, I made a ‘flower’ for each of her teammates, and coaches. I also made a flower for all her friends, and family who came to honor her with us.
I had a bouquet, I had signs I made, I had 12 balloons (Oh you ask why 12, well because that is how many came in the bag I bought) I had clean matching clothes for the girls, I even had clean clothes for me. I was all set.
I did okay writing the parent letter to be read as we walk our daughter to half court, oh sure I cried a little but not big ugly cry.
I made it through the candy bouquet without freaking out.
I made it through the balloon pick up when the guy blowing them up asked what they were for.
I made it through dinner, I even got everyone to the car.
I walked into the gym like a boss. Until I saw one of Keith’s former players, we love her like she is family. I started to cry, she told me to ‘pull it together mom’ so I did.
My stomach hurt, my eyes stung and I had a lump in my throat. But I pasted a smile on my face.
They called all parents of seniors to the basket end of the court. They started calling out names, we were last, they read all 6 letters before they got to ours. These girls have been together with for 7 to 10 years, I cried for them. Their moms and dads sat in the bleachers for countless games, and camps, we have driven or carpool together, we know the families, we are also a family, because of our time together all these years. We were last on purpose, the other moms knew I would cry, and they said if they saw me cry they would start crying too. So in order for the families not to all cry they stuck us at the end.
Our senior, and her last home game.
We are so proud of you and your accomplishments on and off the court. You have spent more time diving for balls and sacrificing your body to make a save, a rebound, or a steal, I think some games you spent more time on the floor than on your feet. We are proud of all the heart you put into basketball. You have put countless hours into your game, years of camps, before you were old enough to play, time hanging out in the gym, and watching games with your dad.
I don’t think I will miss the game you play after every game, the one where we guess how many new bruises you got during the game.
I am pleased to say we ONLY purchased 11 pair of knee pads, for the 7 years you played at school, when I told you the last few pair were supposed to be the best, they would not rip, I think you took that as a challenge. They ripped. They ripped by the 2nd game you had them. Somewhere in some gym there are little hex shaped air pockets laying sad on the gym floor.
Often I would hold my breath as you were thrown to the floor, not sure if I should clap for the effort you put in the play or call the chiropractor because of how hard you bounced.
We are going to miss watching you play.
I am going to miss coaching you, the time we were together was special for me. Watching you grow as a player these last 7 years, getting stronger, working as a team, and listening to instruction has made all that time together enjoyable. I am going to miss sitting next to you on the bench, listening to you talk, and watching you grow.
We love you, and will miss watching you play the game that brought you so much joy and pain.
We are eager to see what God is going to do in and with your life.
love Mom and Dad
During the reading of the letter we (I) wrote for O, she decided to tell us her college choice. So not only was I thinking about the ending of her time at her school, I now was thinking about her new beginning. I think I don’t like this.
One sweet mom said I looked great and smiled so nice, I informed her I can cry while smiling. I know the big ugly tears will come soon. I had a few escape on Saturday, while I was alone running errands. I had some escape earlier this week while Keith and I were talking about the scholarship competition weekends. Ugly noises escaped from my mouth and tears just burst from my eyes. I am going to miss that girly!
So please go hug your kids because senior night is just around the corner.
ps: during the ceremony O announced to us her college choice. Today she paid the fees, and now has an email address to that college. In two weeks she is going up for the scholarship competition. I keep crying.