End of an era

Tonight I had tickets to the Stampede game and to the Jolie Holland concert. Since the Stampede played the same team Thursday night, I figured that was a fairly resolvable problem. Then I found out yesterday I would attend neither. Why? Tonight was the night selected to unveil the 2006 championship banner for my daughter’s volleyball team during halftime of the girls’ basketball game.

Of the three, it was a fairly easy choice. After all, this was the final honor for the dream they obtained. The team got a tremendous standing ovation, perhaps the longest they’ve seen even in this championship year. Yet it also turned out to be somewhat of a bittersweet experience. Not only was it the last chapter of my daughter’s high school volleyball career, this weekend marks the first of this season’s tournaments for the Sioux Falls West JO Volleyball teams. Thus, tonight helped reinforce that this will be the first time in five years or more where a significant number of my weekends from mid-January through April aren’t going to spent on the road and in hotels for JO volleyball tournaments.

While I will enjoy the free weekends and won’t miss the travel, I will miss the kids, the parents and the camaraderie. Still, when some of the parents whose daughters are playing JO this year told me tonight I was welcome to join them in Omaha this weekend, I declined, both graciously and gratefully.

The most important gift anyone can give a girl is a belief in her own power as an individual, her value without reference to gender, her respect as a person with potential.

Emilie Buchwald, “Raising Girls for the 21st Century”

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