Lucy told me a month or so ago that her biggest regret from junior high was that she didn’t try out for the basketball team. I somehow hoped she had forgotten about that. Which makes me feel awful because what kind of mom wants her child to forget about a dream?
It just feels wrong that I have to do this: dash hopes and dreams.
And it also feels awfully wrong that this sweet fifteen-year-old can’t see well enough to do the things she wants with all her heart to do. (She is actually pretty good at making baskets despite her vision thanks to her brother-in-law who taught her, but she hasn’t, up until this point, known much about how the game really works, nor has she ever dribbled a ball…)
Lucy’s limitations have felt so heavy for her lately, and I think she was just clinging to the hope, despite the odds, that maybe she could do something “normal” (..she’s not ready for special olympics or other things with kids with vision loss at this point, some day when she’s ready I think it could bring her so much joy if she’ll embrace it!)
Oh, she’s so good about seeing the good in so many things. When she gets dark and sorrowful it is so incredible to watch her work her way out of it. Sometimes that takes time, but she can do it.
She is strong.
But this basketball thing, it was eating away at both of us.
Should we let her just try and feel even more awful when she couldn’t make the team, or should we just dash those hopes in one fell swoop? Lucy invited her friend over to help her practice for try-outs and I teared up as I watched them out on that court, Lucy trying so hard to concentrate, and that kindest friend in the whole wide world working so sweetly with her.
Well, this story is not all sad though.
It’s actually quite triumphant.
Because God is in the details.
It just so happened that Lucy’s science teacher is the Freshman girls’ basketball coach.
And it just so happened that Lucy knew that, and told me so.
I called that good teacher and told her about our dilemma and she said she had been worried too when Lucy mentioned she was going to try out. She reminded me that she wouldn’t pass a doctor’s clearance (you have to get that “ok” before you can try out for a sport), but she mentioned, very genuinely, that she would love to have Lucy be the team manager.
A glimmer of hope!
When I pulled Lu aside and explained that her doctor wouldn’t pass her vision for tryouts but that she could still be part of the team as a manager it was a tough talk. She declined and had a long, good cry. And each day after when I asked if she had reconsidered, she vehemently answered with a resounding “NO!”
So I don’t know how finally, by about the fifth time I asked, she calmed herself down and said Yes.
I tried to act like that was no big deal so I didn’t scare her off, but inside my heart was jumping so much I could hardly contain it.
On the day of her first practice that girl was a gigantic ball of dripping nerves walking into that new experience. As we walked in I asked if she wanted to say a prayer to which she gave me a huge YES and hugged right into me. Loved walking into that gym with my arm around her…until we got close to the door and then she shoed me away speedy-quick.
Prayed with all my might she would be ok.
So I cannot explain how relieved and happy I was to see that glowing face of Lucy’s through the screen on FaceTime when Dave picked her up, and to later hear the report from Dave about how Lucy had told him how happy she was to feel like she “belonged.”
I’m still holding my breath…a few weeks in I still don’t know how all this will turn out.
But I do know that for years Lucy has watched her older siblings come out of this building and the court right next to it.
Volleyball games galore, tennis matches, senior nights, tournaments, and that unbeknownst to me, she longed to do the same.
And it’s pretty sweet watching her come out of there from her own practices:
So grateful for experiences that help us grow. And that even though Lucy is still uncomfortable and it’s scary for her, she’s doing it anyway, surrounded by this awesome coach and the nicest girls who have taken her under their wing.
I’m also grateful to ponder that Christ went through all of these struggles before us, big and small.
Today I am doing the devotional again on the Come Follow Me App about just that:
D&C 133: 53 — In all their afflictions he was afflicted. And the angel of his presence saved them; and in his love, and in his pity, he redeemed them, and bore them, and carried them all the days of old.
It made me think of an experience when I was grappling with my own struggles as a young mother, as well as one of my favorite paintings (above). I thought instantly of one of my favorite quotes (all in those two minutes of my devotional today).
It also reminded me of the yoke that hangs in our dining room:
It hangs there as a reminder that Christ wants to share our yoke with Him.
Because He knows.
He’s been there.
He’s got me, He’s got Lucy, He’s got you.
I’m so grateful for that beauty that infiltrates my life when I’m faced with the sorrows that come my way.
And that Lucy shares that belief with me that lifts her through so many times when she’s feeling low.
Sometimes God sends angels in the form of science teachers/basketball coaches.