Sometimes when I’m reading (or listening to) a good book I slow way down at the end.

I’m just not quite ready for it to end.

I situate my time and myself just so so that I can fully take in all the culminating events as it wraps up.

I felt that same wanting-to-hold-on-to-the-very-last-drop a week or so ago when this girl wrapped up her season as the freshman basketball team manager:

(Lucy wouldn’t hear of any kind of fancy hairdo for picture day, what you see is what you get with that girl! But the smile!)

Lucy loved being part of something bigger than herself.

It began with some uncertainty.

She wasn’t quite sure where she belonged.

But those teammates and coach took her right under their wings.

(Made me tear up over and over again…oh is there anything we want more for our kids than to watch them be loved?)

And gradually, she became more comfortable.

She was so responsible with all her gear, wore her special warm-up shirt or jersey to school with all the other girls for game days:

She especially loved the away games where she took the bus all over the valley with her team cheering them on, and she got back, bleary-eyed so late, still homework to do, still life to situate.

But after seeing all her older siblings do the same, I think even in that bleary state she was proud to be part of something bigger than herself.

I loved the team building they did together, and just a sense of community that all kids need.

And that is hard to come by when you are losing your vision.

Things like finding this in my car made me so happy (an “assignment” for practice that day):

I still don’t know exactly what she did at all those practices and on all those buses. I’m sure for at least part of it she was bored to tears. But she was determined to be there and be supportive.

I loved that one day when I picked her up she told me how the whole team had been cheering her on as she tried, over and over again, to make a basket.

And then she did.

And it was a giant celebration.

Yes, high school sports are the best.

As the games on the calendar started to dwindle, Lucy was really hoping to have the team over for a team-building dinner, and we were pretty happy to oblige.

It was such a fun night getting to know these girls and their awesome coach better.

Just like one of those good books I have willed to keep expanding, we weren’t ready for the season to end.

Oh! how I’ll miss watching her walk into that gym with a purpose and a hop in her step.

So hoping she will continue to find things that push her and bring her so much happiness.

But for now, our hearts are all swollen from being so grateful for that grand experience.

More basketball posts:

Sorrow, a new basketball manager, and sharing yokes

Lu’s first basketball game and things that stretch us

Max’s Chinese basketball career

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