Friday, October 06, 2006

Disappointed . . .

When I picked Delaney up from school today, the look on her face said it all. Then, when she caught my eye through the car window, she softly shook her head. I knew what she meant, and it broke my heart.

It wasn't really a big thing ... but it was big to her, so it was big to me.

She was determined to make a team at school called the Newcomb team. It's some weird abberation of volleyball, where they serve and hit the ball over like volleyball but actually catch the ball with their hands before throwing it back over the net. They'd been practicing and "trying out" in PE for the last two weeks. Delaney was frustrated at the beginning, because she couldn't serve it over every time.

"Coach said that we'd need to be able to serve it over every time, to make the team," Delaney would announce to me. But she'd proudly gotten better as try-outs kept going along. "I made it over every serve today," she said yesterday. Then this morning: "They're supposed to tell us today who made it." She smiled a little bit, but also had that worried look in her eyes.

Delaney is a very athletic girl--you all have heard mine and Gary's stories about her abilities at softball. She is a natural softball player and I'm always amazed at what she can do when she's so much smaller than the other players her age.

But Newcomb? Well, height is definitely an advantage in it and, although I don't pretend to know the coach's thoughts, I'd imagine that was Delaney's downfall.

So what did I tell her? I gave her all the requisite Mommy lines.

"You did your best. That's all you can ask."
"Be proud of how you tried so hard. I'm sure you did great."
"It must be very hard for the coach to choose her players. I'm sure it was hard not to pick you."
"We need to realize that we can't excel at everything we try. This can help you be more sympathetic to the girls who don't make All Stars or travel teams like you."
"You know you're so good at so many other things, right? You are wonderful at softball and singing and writing and school."
"Try and be happy for your friends who did make it."

And then, at the end, it was that last line that made it even harder for her to take. Her four best friends all made the team, and she didn't. I think we've all been there, haven't we?

It's times like these that make it hard to be a parent. But it's also times like these that make it so gratifying. Knowing that what I can say can make Delaney into a better person, a better friend, and a better sport.

But of course all of that doesn't mean much of anything to her right now. So, to raise her spirits, I made her some cupcakes, gave her a big hug, and am taking her to buy a "Hannah Montana" wig for Halloween. Because in the midst of disappointment, it's the little things that might make it all better. . . or at least help a little bit.

9 comments:

maggie Holmes said...

ahhh, i'm so sorry. that is so hard -- i think it is even harder to be a parent and see our kids disappointed than to be disappointed ourselves.

Phats said...

That really stinks, sorry to hear this cheryl. I have actually played this game in college no less, and had no idea that is what it was called. I don't know if this helps, but I had a very good friend who tried out for cheerleading at Purdue with me, and you have to do a standing back to even be considered he could only do it with a spot, and he unfortunately didn't make it, but he didn't quit. We all worked with him on getting the tuck, and by his Junior year he made it. It does make it harder when all your friends make it, keep her chin up, she still has softball!

rhonda said...

oh your post has me in tears...I know exactly how you feel. Kayla was never our athletic one...but always wanted to be. She would always try out for things...and I would of course encourage her to try her hardest...and then would hurt with her when she didn't make the cut.
life is tough...but you are right about her sball..and her travel team...chin up Dulaney (and cheryl!)
love the felt flowers!...and I am so glad to finally be over this headache!

Going For Greatness said...

What a hard lesson in life. I know, as a mom, and also as an athlete. These disappointments just make us even more determined to make the grade next time. Give her a hug for me and tell her to keep on goin'!!!
~Gabi

Miss 1999 said...

What a good mother you are! I know how hard that is, but it's so wonderful of you to lift her spirits, and teach her vaulable things that she will remember always- it will most definitely make her a better person! :0)

Amanda said...

Bless her heart. Let me tell you though, from a girl who played volleyball in college...WHAT A CRAZY WAY TO PLAY A GREAT GAME!! Tell your daughter that way of playing volleyball is for WACKOS! :-) Just kidding, I know that she doesn't really care about the logistics of the game, and I'm sorry her little heart is hurt...but back to the logistics...the real logistics...that is not real volleyball. I hope the cupcakes helped! Sugar always seems to do that. I don't know how I will handle those moments when my babies get a little bigger....I'm learning from you!

Cheryl said...

The game sounds fun - you handled it so beautifully. When that time comes with my daughter I know I will feel as you do too - so hard to watch but knowing it is part of life.

NMOTB said...

Awww man, poor kid! I used to be exactly the same though when I was younger (still am). I think the way you handled it and what you said is just perfect - D (M & S) are very lucky to have such a super mom!!!!!

NMOTB said...

Hope you all have a gr8 Sunday! :-)