It’s been a full year since I wrote the blog, When You Don’t Make The Cut and my dear 15-year-old beauty is about to begin round 2 of high school volleyball tryouts. Last year, she made the freshman team. Not the team she was hoping for, but a team. She aspires to make the JV team. She is still nervous, maybe more, but there is something different this time around. In fact, I have been noticing changes all summer.
I am sure my other girls experienced this same shift, perhaps I was too busy raising three daughters to notice the magic of the moment. It seemed to take on a more cumulative effect with them. Maybe our family dynamic was such that our shared experiences didn’t allow for such obvious snapshots of maturity.
During these last few months, I have seen an obvious shift in our youngest daughter’s attitude. She is less wrought with emotional outbursts. I said less…they are still present. We can go weeks without arguing over clothes, breakfast or which shoes to wear. She is enjoyable to be around and we have full conversations about life. Real conversations. She comes to me about her feelings, concerns and desires. Her personality has begun to blossom and I no longer see that sweet, baby face staring back at me.
When Reese came into our lives, our other girls were 5 and 7. They loved her like their own. They wanted to carry, feed and bathe her. They settled for sitting on my lap holding her with me, bathing with her and giving her love and hugs. They have been leading the way and bossing her around her whole life. In turn, she has been chasing them since the beginning; wanting to do the same things and wanting what they have.
The tables are turning.
Reese is growing up. She is thoughtful and kind. She sees everything. She feels deeply and she gives good advice freely. She celebrates her sisters’ accomplishments and quietly champions them.
Her desires often mimic theirs. She tries them on for size like a pair of their jeans and puts them back to try something she might like better. She is realizing she has her own dreams and aspirations and she isn’t afraid to try something new. It’s beautiful to see a new path being blazed.
Two years ago, we traveled to Kauai as a family. Reese enjoyed the trip, but was timid. She was always the last in the water, she chose not to jump off any cliffs, she peeked over the edge content to watch and photograph those around her. She was sullen, felt left out, not old enough to partake in the 18- and 20-year-olds’ conversations. This year, we went back and everything was different. She didn’t sit quietly on the sidelines waiting to be asked. She was the first in the water and was ready to jump off cliffs before we had taken our shoes off! She laughed, was the center of most conversations, and if you couldn’t find her there was a good chance she was under water.
Reese begins volleyball tryouts today and her sophomore year of high school tomorrow. While she still wants to fit in, make the team, have friends and find a homecoming date she isn’t sitting around worrying about it this year. She is doing what she needs to do with a quiet confidence that it will all work out the way it’s supposed to.
And if it doesn’t? Then she will just keep learning how to be who she is in this world even when she doesn’t make the cut… and possibly have an emotional breakdown. Hey, I didn’t say she was perfect!
Sunshine & Sarcasm,
Lowi & G