All Good Things Must Come to an End

by gillis

All good things must come to an end, and yesterday marked the end of the CYC grades 3 and 4 travel team basketball season. Even writing that sentence took too long as far as I’m concerned. I’m very happy to be on the other side of that practice schedule, to say nothing of the endless weekend scrimmages and tournaments peppered up and down our rural county. My daughter Greta, on the other hand, has spent the past 48 hours mourning the passing of the season and I’m trying to make sense of that as I work to comfort her.

I don’t know what it’s like to play on an athletic team beyond the vengeful brand of girls vs. boys kickball played at the Highland Elementary School during recess. I never wore a uniform and practiced with the same group of girls for weeks on end. I can’t quite relate to what she is going through. I see how strong and powerful she feels on the basketball court. She is beautiful to watch as she runs to dribble, intercept, pass, shoot, rebound, and move the ball. When she “gets big” she looks like a warrior staking her claim to something much larger than a hoop. When she steals the ball and makes a break, it looks like practiced choreography. Her skills have improved exponentially since getting on the travel team this year. There are no remnants of the girl who cried when the ball hit her in years past. I actually find myself moved to tears when the teamwork on the court feels tangible. I’ve had to bite my lip when she’s hit a shot or two. I know my crying would break some sort of spell.

I wish that I could bottle the feelings she experienced this season and store them safely so that she might take them down and drink them in when she is not so strong. I wish I could weave a cape out of those moments to protect her during those frail times to come when she must fight off all the messages about staying small and pleasing others. I’d spend a thousand days under buzzing florescent lights to make that happen.