Oh, happy day!

Anyone who is my facebook friend, eats lunch with me, has spoken on the phone with me, or reads my family website is most likely sick to death of hearing about boys volleyball. I don't think I've mentioned it much on here, though, so hopefully it's not so painful for fresh ears. :)



Yes, I know it's just high school sports, not the Olympics, but we were soooo happy to see them win last night. They have really struggled this season...though they've been playing since March and practicing 4 hours a day every school day they don't have a game, varsity didn't win a single GAME until last week. Well, we are no longer winless. Last night the boys won the whole match.

I had been telling Jeff that I thought we had a good chance to win. They played their opponent in their third game, and it was the first game that our guys actually looked like they had a chance. They were beaten, but not thrashed as in their two previous matches, and they've improved A LOT since then. So I was hopeful. But I'm always hopeful. :)

Well, the first game pretty much blew that hope away. Kids who are normally steady were making stupid plays. Nathan hit several out. Daniel didn't play at all. :( It was such a sick feeling to watch them fall apart. Ugh.

The second game started much the same. We got a couple of points, then started sinking. At one point, I texted Jeff (who was across the gym talking to some friends of ours) "Ugh. This sucks." I even posted on facebook, "Hey, start rooting for the boys team."

And then...they started playing. Just came alive. One of our kids who typically isn't a real steady server got up to serve and made several in a row to tie us up. The game went back and forth, back and forth. No one could get up by more than one; then the other team would tie it up. It was crazy. The gym completely came alive. Usually, I'm the only one cheering for our team. I can't sit there and be quiet. (Surprise, surprise). Not last night. As the boys took off, everybody was yelling, clapping, stomping, hollering. It was awesome. And finally, they won at 33-31 on a huge kill by Nathan.

Well, that was great, but they still had a third game to play. This one also started out badly. I think the Tigers were down 5-0, but then they just got going. It was a very close game, but they came back and won. It was so great to see the boys with a reason to celebrate. They were jumping and hugging and SO excited. I had a smile on my face for the rest of the evening. Literally.

On the other hand...

The coach did finally put Daniel in during the last game (to serve for Nathan), and he made all his serves and no mistakes on defense. It's been hard for him to be stuck on the bench, and hard for us to watch because (in our eyes, at least) he deserves to be out there. I'm just hoping that he can get through this time with grace and not let it spoil the season for him.

I'm needing my own grace throughout this time. It's tempting to criticize the coach's decision-making, especially when we don't agree with his decisions regarding our precious oldest child. Daniel is the better setter, and he is a good blocker, as well...something the boy who starts instead of him lacks. I've been biting my tongue a lot and reminding myself over and over again that the coach is the coach. I'm not. He has reasons for what he's doing.

And I wonder on top of that what the other reasons are for the benching (like if God has a reason). What will Daniel gain from this experience? Is he being humbled? Seasoned? Is it going to make a difference in his relationship with Nathan? I pray that whatever lesson he is supposed to learn from this will be learned and learned well. And maybe there's one for us in there, too. Submission? Peace? Supporting our overachieving child through his first time such struggle?

It really is difficult to balance the the boys' feelings. To really support and celebrate Nathan's success while remaining sensitive to Daniel's frustration. This is the first time they've competed head to head at something. And they aren't "in competition"...Nathan's a hitter; Daniel's a setter...but everything is a competition for Daniel. Nathan's playing, starting, and Daniel is barely in there. I'm keeping it in perspective, though (well, trying to). If this is the worst trial he'll have to endure, he's a lucky, lucky boy.


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