My oldest girl, Megan, plays volleyball. This is her second year and she is on the JV team. Today was her first game.
I say game...but I'm not sure if I'm correct. At every "event" the teams play three times. Best two out of three. I don't know if it's three games make a match or is it three matches make a game? Or am I off in both regards?? Well for my sake and so you know what I'm talking about, I'll call it three games in a match.
First game, Megan didn't start, but after a couple of minutes, the coach put her in. She got in there and gave great effort. I was very proud of her. Unfortunately, our team lost that first game. So the teams switched ends of the court and the second game began. The game went on and on, with one team scoring a point, then the other one catching up. Back and forth they went, but eventually we won! Yay! So another game began and it went the same way. Because both of the last two games were so close, the coach kept her starting six in.
So I sat there, worrying that Megan was feeling sad that she wasn't getting to play and I felt sad for her. See, I've been there. I played three seasons of basketball as a kid. And in three seasons of basketball, I'd be shocked if we added up all my game time and found out I played ten minutes...maybe not even five. I know the bench too well. And I felt it pretty keenly, especially in eighth grade. Always stuck in for the 32 seconds of the game we were losing miserably. It made me angry. "Great, I get to go in for the loss and I'll look like the one who lost the game." I really wished she wouldn't put me in at all if she was only going to stick me in for less than a minute to watch us lose the game. So lugging those memories along with me, I worried about Megan a bit, sitting over on the bench beside her coach.
Then I looked up. And you know what I saw? Not a sad little face pouting over her bench-warming status. Not an angry adolescent acting like "it's just not fair!" Nope. I saw my girl getting the attention of her bench mates and getting them to join her in doing "the wave." She was grinning from ear to ear and having a fantastic time. And when the match was complete and our team was declared the victor, and all the girls were cheering and celebrating, you know who was jumping the highest? My bench-warming wave-maker.
I was proud. And instead of a heart full of worry I had a heart full of thankfulness that THAT's MY girl.