End of an Era

It all started in the fall of 1996. Our five-year-old daughter wanted to play soccer. Since she was a very active and energetic child, we decided this could be a good thing. We signed her up. No other parent on our team wanted to coach, so my husband stepped in. And so began our years of watching (and coaching!) our kids.

They’ve managed to try most everything. All three started in soccer, then added basketball. (We had one brief season of t-ball in there.) As they started into junior high, we moved from the intensity of select soccer to school sports. Volleyball. Softball. Baseball. Track. All saw moments with one or more of our children. There were years (starting when our youngest was four!) when the boys were on the same teams, which was nice. Other years–many, many other years–where we kept up with three different teams. During middle school and high school basketball season, that meant 6 games a week! And then there were the one weekend overlaps of soccer and basketball when they were little. Six games in oneΒ day!Β 

We traveled hither and yon. Sat out in cold and heat. Went through numerous folding chairs and bleacher seats. We laughed and cried and cheered our hearts out for our kids as they dribbled and scored and bumped and ran and hit and pitched.

We knew the end was coming, but we thought we had one more season–baseball–to savor. Instead we learned that the basketball injury from one of the first games of the season, the injury he taped and played with until our season ended last week, will require surgery. Baseball is out. Just like that, it’s all over.

I’ve cried a few tears in the past couple of weeks. Because of the way basketball season ended, then the abruptness of baseball season being gone, I never got to prepare myself, to find closure to this end of an era. Instead, it just drifted away, leaving me wishing I’d paid more attention to last games. But as I look back, I smile through the tears. These were years where we spent lots of time together as a family. Where our kids (and us!) learned to control our emotions, to be a team players, to give it our all. Someday, I hope we’ll get to watch our kids do the same with their kids. Until then, our consolation is one son who seeks his future as a coach. As long as he does that, we’ll have our child’s team to root for.

(I really wanted to post some picture collages of these years, but there were way too many to choose from. So here are each of our children on basketball senior night. Basketball came to be the sport they all loved most. And yes, each one is wearing number 11.)

8 comments on “End of an Era

  1. Sweet, honest thoughts here, Anne. And a good reminder to those of us who still have a kid or two playing something. This past Saturday I grumbled as we loaded up, traveled an hour from home and sat in the cold and the wind for two hours to watch him run 4 whole minutes of hurdles. Ah, perspective. I believe I have a better one now–thanks to your post. I’ll be praying for your closure.

    • Ugh. That’s the worst part about track! I have to say, I didn’t miss that when it ended with kid #2! But yes, as you well know, cherish each moment here at the end. It’s been a good season of life, but I have a feeling the best is yet to come! After all, with grandkids at least I don’t have to go home with the grumpy loser! πŸ™‚

  2. Aww, what great memories though! You have built such a great sportsmanship in your kids, job well done, and perhaps a Friday night lights novel is just waiting to be written?? That’s what the year ‘off’ could be for! =)

    • Lol! The book I’m working on now has a basketball coach in 1917 as the “hero”. So yes, I’m pouring it out on the page! πŸ™‚

  3. I remember following that last golf tournament…it really is a door closing. As you say though it is a time to remember all the memories made over the years, time together, lessons learned… just a bit wistful that it could continue. Bring on those grandkids!!

    • Lol! It has been a new joy for us to get to transition to watching Aaron coach last summer and watch him in his assistant duties on his college team. It has definitely been better than quitting cold turkey. It’s just been hard with Nathan being the last and all of his sports ending without us knowing they’d be ending right then! But we are so thankful for the memories of all those years.

  4. Oh, how fun! I’ve always had this little secret fear that I’d end up with a kid someday who loves…wrestling. It’s one sport I just can’t bring myself to enjoy! But basketball, volleyball, looove those. I can see how it would be hard realizing that era is coming to an end.

    • You’d be surprised what you can watch when you have a vested interest! πŸ™‚ I won’t miss the busyness of it all (or the expense!), but I’ll miss the together time and the shared experiences.

Comments are closed.