I know it seems like I’ve said “this is the end” like forty-two times, but you’ve got to admit, this volleyball journey has taken us on a ride!

From thinking she was done after high school season to thinking she was done after club season to deciding to play in college, it’s been a journey for this volleyball girl of ours.

So it was sweet that her coach wanted to do a little informal “signing ceremony” for her with the whole volleyball program in attendance.

A kid from the boys volleyball team was signing for a different college at the same time so it was fun to gather together to commemorate all this hard work.

The coach talked about teamwork and said such nice things about this girl.

I’ve mentioned over and over again how incredible all these coaches are.

Believing in Claire from the start, starting with Coach Jordan who has now moved on (miss you Coach Jordan!), on to Coach Tait who has now taken the lead along with Coach Grover who leads the boys and assists with the girls:

That volleyball program is a dream, and Claire has been lucky enough to be a part of it.

Sometimes I stop and wonder about the ripple effects of good teachers and coaches.

I mean, I’m no sports girl, (sadly no coordination to go with this height), but I still to this day remember some of the things teachers taught me in high school.

Those things that helped build a foundation in so many ways.

I just hope that sometimes, in the middle of the tough stuff, that those exceptional teachers and coaches will feel a portion of the gratitude from those moms who are so dang grateful for the boosts they give their kids.

That’s how I feel about these awesome coaches.

Lucky Claire.

And lucky them too, because I know, totally biased, but I think she was a pretty fun girl to have on the team:)

Volleyball decisions:





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  1. Thank you for this post! I’m a middle school science teacher and I’ve coached high school girls lacrosse too.

    It’s been tough for me to keep teaching (so much work!) and pretend everything is business as usual after the school shooting in Texas last week. When it’s at an elementary school, it hits different and feels worse. And they just keep happening all over the country.

    We teachers don’t get to hear much from parents when we’re doing a good job. It’s nice to see that you appreciate educators so much. If you have time, an e-mail or handwritten note mailed to school saying thank you for teaching my kid means way more than you could know unless you’re a teacher too. Even better a note written by Claire or Lucy herself!

    Thanks for being a light always 🙂

    1. Thank you for your thoughts, Katie, and THANK YOU for being a teacher. What amazing power for good you have in the lives of the kids who come through your classroom. Teachers make the world go around in my opinion. And Lucy’s assistant science teacher is the one who invited her to be the basketball manager, something that was such a tremendous light to her this past year. I’m glad to hear notes mean a lot to teachers because Lucy took a long time to write notes to each of her teachers along with a little gift at the end of the school year. Such a tiny token of such big appreciation!
      Thank you for what you do as a teacher!

  2. Now that Lucy is the only one left in the “nest”, it would be great to now concentrate on the activities SHE is excited about. Like maybe a book club, or something revolving totally around what Lucy would like to participate in.

    No more having to worry about other siblings (that are doing more activities that the family finds acceptable and rewarding). Mom has NO MORE sports activities to spend hours, days, weeks, travelling on – it’s LUCY’s time to shine in a LUCY-activity.

    I’m sure she will thrive.

    1. I’m sure they spend plenty of time on all the kids but it can be a bummer for the youngest dragged to everything for the oldest for about a decade and nice to just have their own activities for once.

  3. This is such an interesting notion, because my impression is that Lucy gets a lot of attention: trying to convince her to learn Braille etc., playing cards at every gathering, writing large music sheets, , driving the tandem to school, meeting with teachers and counselors again and again, giving her a patriarchal blessing (correct word?) even before Claire got hers, because Lucy needed it. The list goes on.

    I feel a bit creepy for knowing/remembering so much. And I feel that you have two wonderful daughters at home (at least until recently) whom you support both a lot, Shawni!

    1. Basketball manager, choir, reading together, trips for her to see the world, etc etc. Shawni is an amazing mother to all of them. Sadly, some people just like to be snarky.

    2. The blessing can happen any age between 12 and 19. Doing club she had sports all year long. Then the parents travel to 4 states in a month. I think it was time thing.

  4. I’ve been reading your blog for years and years and am grateful you are somehow able to rise above the clueless comments you get from time to time, and just move on. Your consistency is much appreciated and I find your writing inspiring, especially since I have a child with special needs of my own. Over the years, I’ve gained insights, hope, confidence and forward thinking vision from your work. You truly have gift. Thank you!

    1. No one said she wasn’t a good mother.

      There has been, up to now, an inordinate amount of time, travel, etc that has been given over the years to the other 4 kids and their SPORTS activities. Lucy is a good sport and attends the events, bringing a book, etc, even though she has to climb bleachers, can’t see very well, and would probably rather be somewhere else.

      I can still envision Shawni and Dave going to all the sports events of the first 4, possibly with Lucy, and not enrolling Lucy in things SHE chooses. Not things chosen for her. She didn’t want to dive, ski, hike. She got to be manager of the basketball team – that’s great. She knew she HAD to do something having to do with SPORTS. Like the others, sort of.

      She wanted to be on the dance team. Shawni balked at that.

      How about something else? An art club, a book club, a forensics or debate team… CHESS club since she loves games? Something absolutely HER.

      Not snarky. Just my thoughts. I can’t wait to see the next few months play out.

      1. Oh believe me, we have tried all of the above. She is in a book club but doesn’t like the book choices and wants to do her own thing. She balks at any idea of art club or chess but boy howdy have we ever tried! I appreciate people looking out for Lucy and being in her corner, we’ll take any ideas we can get to help her. But to be honest, she is such a great advocate for herself and sure knows what she wants. It just gets tricky the more vision she loses, the more things are unavailable for her. That’s why we are doing everything in our power to help her realize the beauty of accepting all the visual aids and help that are available. They could change her life in so many ways.

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