In the beginning of February Grace wrapped up her high school cheering career.
She has decided not to try out again next year.  She has loved the experience of cheering the last four years (junior high included), but decided that she doesn’t love it enough to tryout for varsity next year (pretty high-level with practices and traveling games as well as traveling competitions that are incredibly life and family-time consuming).
So her last game was a little emotional for me as her mom.
Maybe made more-so because I had a really good freak-out at her before the game.  

Which sounds strange but that freak-out is part of what made this last game so memorably sweet in my eyes.

And because it was part of this whole wrap-up I’ll just give a synopsis (with Grace’s permission).
We were getting ready to head to youth conference.  I was sad because I wasn’t going to be able to make it to this last game.  I had tried to figure out a different way to get the church kids to the conference, but I was needed as a driver and Dave rolled his eyes at me that I was creating so many ripples and just to go already.  He promised he would record every minute of Grace and reminded me that I’ve been at pretty much every other game.  Grace was sunshine and light about that arrangement and was set to come up with a later car-load.
So the morning our Chinese friends left (after the crazy week I talked about back HERE), I got to work preparing for this next little venture that afternoon.  And without boring you to tears, let’s just say I asked for Grace to pack her stuff three times before the game (this youth-conference was an overnight deal).  
And she had plenty of time.  
And I begged for some help to get all the other girls’ gear in the car that had been dropped off the night before.  But dear Grace was nowhere to be found as I was sweating away in a blurry state of no-sleep-for-days mode (which should have been a warning in and of itself for Grace to steer clear…maybe that’s what she was trying to do!  Ha!).
I marched in to find her, and got to her bedroom just in time to find her wrapped in a towel, all fresh from a leisurely bath.
In the middle of an afternoon.  
Her things strewn around her room and me needing to leave in three minutes.
Needless to say I was what you could call LIVID at that teenager of mine.  I gave her a piece of my mind and came out of her room to find Claire and her friend wide-eyed in the laundry room, pretending they didn’t hear anything.  Ha!  
I raced to the church to load up my car only to find that another leader had decided to go after all, and my friend was excited to tell me I could stay for Grace’s game after all.  Which I should have been excited about, but with the whole series of events it just frustrated me even more.  I went home and sat in my room to compose myself for a little bit.  Because Heaven knows I needed it.  
Dave came in from work and found me huddled in our bedroom on the brink of a mental breakdown (which I was).  He took a few minutes to talk through all the craziness that had been happening that last week and how I was at the end of my rope (other things too that I haven’t included here) and took me on a little date to Grace’s game that we got to watch together, and all the craziness seemed to melt right away, the tightness in my chest loosened up and we watched that girl of ours glow across the court.  
Those girls did a great job on their last routine:

And when Grace bounded over to us after half-time we smiled knowingly at each other.  We knew fully well that we were both in the wrong and I love that that little smile exchange could speak the words we didn’t have to.

It’s amazing that apology and forgiveness can be done that quick sometimes.

And that we all get second, and third and seventy-seventh chances.

I was SO GLAD for that turn of events (after the emotional part) so I could watch that girl of mine do her thing one last time.  She even joined in for the back-handspring-across-the-court dealio which she hadn’t done before.

What if I had missed that??

Love that this girl of mine has leaned so much with these girls, and worked so hard.

And I love that I got to be there to witness the wrap-up.

The courts and fields of high school sports are going to be a little more dull without that bright light on the sidelines next year, but I think the tennis courts are going to be lit up with her presence…she’s thinking that’s next.


  1. Why would the other girls drop their gear off at your house early, why not bring it themselves when they get to the conference? She had to cheer and then race to an overnight youth conference, why is she responsible to load up the other kids stuff in your car? She seemed as busy, maybe more busy than you. Should you have maybe said no to helping that much with the conference? It's okay to say no. Especially when there are over the top expectations.

  2. Kris, you are mean. I'm usually not a "defender" but, wow. Grace should have helped if her mother asked her to help… period. Which is neither here nor there – we all have kids who aren't perfect, and we all have moments we regret and if you say you don't you're a liar.

    Haven't you ever heard, "Be kind or be quiet"?

    And before you say that Shawni puts her life out there so everything is fair game – what you comment on blogs (or say in person) is simply a reflection of yourself. You don't have to read here, you know. And if it brings out judgmental tendencies and snarkiness (and clearly, displeasure), you shouldn't.

    1. Who am I being mean to? Shawni or Grace? I sincerely don't know? Encouraging shawni to say no to stuff I meant to be kind. Don't you think Grace had enough on her plate at that moment? The child was hardly being lazy so not sure what parenting lesson her mom needed to teach her at that moment. She was fine with time management as she managed cheer and the overnight thing. Good gosh she took a bath the only chance she had that to do so. She wouldn't be able to until the next day, she was on an overnight youth conference. Isn't the prep of getting the hair and makeup done all part of the cheer responsibility? It certainly wasn't anything she could delegate to someone else. Maybe the conference should simply be for several hours if many kids were coming late it would seem the kids in the area are overflowing with other activities. Isn't there a power of moms lesson about saying no, her sister seems to promote the idea you should not say yes to everything for your own sanity. Is her sister mean? Other parents say no, she was surprised to find another parent was able to drive after having said no. Is saying no a sin?

    2. I'm always wondering why you feel this need to nitpick and call people out on so many things you see as wrong. No one is perfect, we all know that, but I think Shawni is an incredible mother. So if someone doesn't deserve nitpicking, it's a mother like her.

  3. If I remember correctly Shawni is one of the youth leaders. Also, it sounds like the other girls' stuff that had been dropped off early belonged to the girls that were going to the conference later. On top of that, from my understanding, Grace hadn't packed which needed to be done if Shawni was to get on her way; so in a way, Grace was derailing her mom's efforts. And, I don't think Shawni wanted Grace to be responsible for the others' stuff, she just wanted some help, which isn't uncommon.

  4. I'm an adult, but I still stay away from my mother whenever she is packing and therefore stressed (helping doesn't really help her). 🙂

    Good that the two of you had a date which helped you relax! And I'm impressed by Grace!

  5. In the spirit of Ash Wednesday, can't we decide to give up gossip and negativity for 40 Lent?

    Thank you, Shawni, for sharing pieces of your life. Some days I'm entertained, some days I learn parenting tips, some days I'm reminded of my college years at U of A and miss the dessert landscape.

  6. Grace is such a cutie! I'm sure everyone on her team will miss her next year, but I'm sure there's so much excitement in store with whatever comes next. When I was a teenager I TOTALLY would have done something exactly like Grace as my poor frazzled mom was trying to get us out the door for a big event (I used to catch heat for taking forever to fix my hair or change my clothes 1000 times) but now that I'm a mom I understand the "trip mode" we moms get in!

  7. Oh I've has to bite me tongue.
    Shawni, we've been there, and still are most days. There are some days you just need some help, no questions just help and to find them not helping sends your into your crazy place. . Haha.. I'm there a lot. I know for me it's when I'm not as prepared as I should be and then my kids add onto the stress in those types of situations. We've all been there. It's good that we can talk about them too. Your the best x

  8. It's strange that you've been on my mind today, since we've never met. But I have to say thank you for sharing life, and recipes, with your readers. Last week, I made bread for the first time ever, and then again this week! Also, tonight I fed the missionaries the Levian cookies you shared. I am truly uplifted by this blog. Thank you, thank you!

  9. Thank you for sharing life is not all smiles and lovingness. Appreciate your kindness in sharing. Mothering is all about trying again and again to do and be better!

  10. This made me tear up because sometimes life is stressful but so amazing at the same time. You are an amazing mom and example. Thank you for sharing snippets of your life.

  11. Wow! And I feel like my schedule is jam packed! I think down time is a very necessary part of health and success but like many mothers cannot seem to get enough for myself. This has poor results in my patience and mood much like Shawni describes here. Thanks for your honest, Shawni. And good job to Grace for finding a few minutes of peace in the bath! Sounds like she was getting ready for a very busy weekend.

  12. Thanks for sharing your melt down! Its good to know I am not alone when a crazy week builds up to the breaking point. And thank goodness for amazing husbands who help calm us down and think rationally again. It is good to know I am in good company.

  13. Thanks for sharing this moment. And thank you Grace for letting you share and being vulnerable! I think we can all relate! Life just gets stressful and gets the better of us sometimes. We're all in this together. Thanks for letting us know we're not alone! 😉

  14. Shawni – Thank you for putting yourself out there. I always enjoy and learn from your writing. I'm in the same position many days dealing with kids and schedules and oftentimes do not handle them with the grace that I know I should. I appreciate your honesty. Please keep sharing with the world even though there are haters out there. You are amazing!

  15. Thank you for the kindness, ladies. I never want to look back on life and think that everything was butterflies and rainbows because let's face it, it's just not. And it's a little harder to share "real life" with teenagers in order to protect the privacy of the "not-so-innocent," (including myself, ha!) so I was glad Grace didn't mind if I shared this. Motherhood is a continual learning process and yes, usually I'm the one who makes the biggest mistakes. Thank goodness my kids are pretty valiant teachers:)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *