In the beginning of February Grace wrapped up her high school cheering career.
She has decided not to try out again next year. She has loved the experience of cheering the last four years (junior high included), but decided that she doesn't love it enough to tryout for varsity next year (pretty high-level with practices and traveling games as well as traveling competitions that are incredibly life and family-time consuming).
So her last game was a little emotional for me as her mom.
Maybe made more-so because I had a really good freak-out at her before the game.
And because it was part of this whole wrap-up I'll just give a synopsis (with Grace's permission).
We were getting ready to head to youth conference. I was sad because I wasn't going to be able to make it to this last game. I had tried to figure out a different way to get the church kids to the conference, but I was needed as a driver and Dave rolled his eyes at me that I was creating so many ripples and just to go already. He promised he would record every minute of Grace and reminded me that I've been at pretty much every other game. Grace was sunshine and light about that arrangement and was set to come up with a later car-load.
So the morning our Chinese friends left (after the crazy week I talked about back HERE), I got to work preparing for this next little venture that afternoon. And without boring you to tears, let's just say I asked for Grace to pack her stuff three times before the game (this youth-conference was an overnight deal).
And she had plenty of time.
And I begged for some help to get all the other girls' gear in the car that had been dropped off the night before. But dear Grace was nowhere to be found as I was sweating away in a blurry state of no-sleep-for-days mode (which should have been a warning in and of itself for Grace to steer clear...maybe that's what she was trying to do! Ha!).
I marched in to find her, and got to her bedroom just in time to find her wrapped in a towel, all fresh from a leisurely bath.
In the middle of an afternoon.
Her things strewn around her room and me needing to leave in three minutes.
Needless to say I was what you could call LIVID at that teenager of mine. I gave her a piece of my mind and came out of her room to find Claire and her friend wide-eyed in the laundry room, pretending they didn't hear anything. Ha!
I raced to the church to load up my car only to find that another leader had decided to go after all, and my friend was excited to tell me I could stay for Grace's game after all. Which I should have been excited about, but with the whole series of events it just frustrated me even more. I went home and sat in my room to compose myself for a little bit. Because Heaven knows I needed it.
Dave came in from work and found me huddled in our bedroom on the brink of a mental breakdown (which I was). He took a few minutes to talk through all the craziness that had been happening that last week and how I was at the end of my rope (other things too that I haven't included here) and took me on a little date to Grace's game that we got to watch together, and all the craziness seemed to melt right away, the tightness in my chest loosened up and we watched that girl of ours glow across the court.
Those girls did a great job on their last routine:
And when Grace bounded over to us after half-time we smiled knowingly at each other. We knew fully well that we were both in the wrong and I love that that little smile exchange could speak the words we didn't have to.
And that we all get second, and third and seventy-seventh chances.
I was SO GLAD for that turn of events (after the emotional part) so I could watch that girl of mine do her thing one last time. She even joined in for the back-handspring-across-the-court dealio which she hadn't done before.
What if I had missed that??
Love that this girl of mine has leaned so much with these girls, and worked so hard.
The courts and fields of high school sports are going to be a little more dull without that bright light on the sidelines next year, but I think the tennis courts are going to be lit up with her presence...she's thinking that's next.