There's something wonderful about watching the incredible teamwork among 14 and 15-year-old girls who are often unfairly depicted as catty backstabbers. I loved seeing how the girls supported each other, cheering and clapping, even when someone made a mistake.
What made me proudest of my daughter wasn't that she set up the ball beautifully, or that she has one of the most interesting and graceful serves. I just loved seeing how spirited she was. She really went for it, even if meant ending up with her arms and legs splayed across the floor!
I now feel for those parents who attend their child's sporting events with regularity, especially at the high school level. It is so nerve wracking! My friend, Andrew, whose daughter Isabel plays on the team, says they would be devastated if they lost, because they were undefeated. But I told him disappointment is an important life lesson that has to be mastered. That's one of my pet peeves -- that parents don't allow their children to fail or deal with disappointment. Sure, that makes sense in the abstract, but I have to confess: that afternoon, as my heart pounded and I stomped on the bleachers with all my might, I was sure glad I got to deal with winning and celebration, instead of loss and disappointment.
I wasn't able to spend much time there Friday -- I had to get back to anchor the Evening News! -- but I was thrilled because Ellie's team made it to the finals. Both teams were gracious in both victory and defeat. And the next day, Saturday, I was able to spend four hours watching her play.
Oh, and one mom brought the best brownies I've ever eaten. When I get the recipe, I'll pass it on.
You'll thank me -- even if your waistline won't!