I brought my new camera and telephoto lens to Georgia's soccer game last Sunday so I finally have new photos to share. It's been a busy spring for Georgia - she is balancing soccer (with its practices an hour away from our house, which means a two hour drive for an hour and a half practice) and lacrosse and all the games, practices and tournaments that that entails.
She is also balancing a difficult 7th grade course load and flute lessons but she's doing a good job all around.
The same could not be said for Gordy and me who always find spring and all the craziness that surrounds it, more than a little bit stressful and complicated. We are always in two different places, doing two different things with two different children. Try-outs for next (school) year take place in the spring and neither of us enjoys the endless whispering and speculating of the parents on the side-lines. For example, next year's soccer will be a little different from this year's soccer. US soccer is changing from a grade-determined age group to a birth-year determined age group which would be fine except that Georgia is a November birthday and so will be one of the youngest on her new team and one of the few eighth graders amongst a team of ninth graders.
And again, that would be fine - Georgia is mature for her age and we don't worry about her making friends with kids who are older. The problem is that those ninth graders will be playing on their high school team in the fall, which means they won't be on the club team and it's unclear what that means for Georgia and the other handful of girls who still need the club.
And I know I'm boring almost all of you non sports-people. It bores me, too, but it's a fact and a stress and one that is consuming us even when we are trying not to let it. Gordy reads a soccer on-line discussion group and the age change situation has been the only topic of discussion for months. There are many, many Georgias out there.
There are just so many stresses surrounding soccer right now. The girls are older and many are amazing players and Georgia is no longer so certain as to her rank on the team and where she stands amongst her current peers and the girls who she will be grouped with next year. She is hyper-aware of how many minutes of playing time that she gets in each game and she is heartbroken when she doesn't get much time on the field. She is also hyper-focused on her game contributions whenever she does get on the field. This past games, she got to play a good amount but she was disappointed with how little she felt she did and she's crushed when she messes something up. She is no longer playing her favorite defense position and I worry that she feels uncertain about her role in her new position. And she's 13 now and so we worry about what all this stress and disappointment is doing to her mental well-being while at the same time, we know that these kind of life experiences are actually really healthy and learning to manage disappointment is necessary and important.
That's way too much worrying, no?
Some nights, Gordy and I lie in bed and talk about how hard it is to parent. Are we the only ones? Parenting is amazing and watching your children grow and develop is such a gift - blah, blah, blah - but good grief is it stressful! I didn't play sports but I was a member of a highly-competitive youth symphony and I remember being a wreck during try-out times and seating-try-out times and especially during anytime that I had to sight-read in front of my peers. I survived, so hopefully Georgia will, too.
Keep working, Georgia! We are proud of you!
(and on a side note: Gordy would like you all to know that while he READS that message board, he does not comment on it. Apparently if you are someone who reads said board, you will understand why he wants to clarify that point).