Category Archives: Activities & Sports

She’s In

As I’ve mentioned this summer and last fall, our oldest daughter always thought she wanted to go to a big college, but she ultimately found her ideal match at a small liberal arts college.  As a strong high school and club volleyball player, but not a superstar, she decided in 10th grade that volleyball would not be part of her college decision.  She recognized that the huge Division I schools she thought she wanted–the Marylands and Penn States–were not going to have a place for her on their varsity-level teams, so she would play intramural ball if it fit her schedule.

Packed for College

Packed for College

But then she fell in love with the small schools.  And then a Division III coach reached out to her to see if she might be interested in playing.  She was flattered….and interested….but in the end she chose another D III school for academics and campus climate–without having made any volleyball contact there.  She told me she wanted to focus on getting used to college life and exploring her new world for a year, but that she would probably try to walk on as a sophomore.  As a former high school and club coach–proudly, my daughter’s first coach–and as her fan through 100s of matches, I knew she would probably be able to make that happen–IF she still wanted to after a year….a big IF.

A few nights before she left for college, we had dinner together–just the two of us–and I went out of my way to remind her that she should only come back to playing at a competitive level down the road if she really missed it:  not just the rush of a big point, but also the grind of a long practice on some random weekday in October.  She was sure she wanted to play sophomore year, but I had my doubts….Anyway, time would tell.


High School Days

Fast forward to her 8th day on campus, a Saturday–I get a text:

(paraphrased) I thought you would want to know that I met a girl who’s on the volleyball team and I have messaged the coach.

Uh, what?!  Then, Monday:

Could you send me the Youtube link to the highlights you put together from last year’s playoffs?  Coach ____ wants to see them since I can’t try out until Wednesday.

Whoa….Now she’s casually mentioning the coach by name?  And she has a tryout?

Wednesday’s text was exactly 2 words:

I’m in.

So here I am, genuinely surprised.  And proud.  And, most of all, happy that she really is making her own choices.


Leave a Comment

Filed under Activities & Sports, College, School, Transitions

Whose Cello Is It, Anyway?


Photo credit: Turidoth / Foter / CC BY-SA

I don’t actually play the cello.  I’ve never had a lesson.  I have experimented with the bow once or twice, but that’s it.  The piano is actually my just-slightly-less-portable instrument.  (Our county’s school buses do not allow large instruments due to space and safety, so pardon the attempted humor.  We view Mr. Cello as a 6th member of the family.)

Now, my son?  HE plays the cello.  In my dad-opinion he plays pretty well, and he says he enjoys it.  And, to be clear, I 100% enjoy listening to him practice.  He has plenty to learn, but a little of the boy’s cello brings a bit of peace to my day.

Our problem is the classic parent-child instrument practice grappling along the lines of “It’s time to practice!” leading to “In a little while” or “Just 20 minutes, right?” or “We had strings in school today, so I don’t need to” or……

So tonight I brought the boy to an important crossroad:  It’s up to you.  You start middle school next year, and it’s time for you to decide whether you want to play the cello or stop the cello; there’s no more saying ‘Yes I do!’ but showing ‘I want to get good but I’m not all that interested in doing what it takes to get there.’

He doesn’t need to TELL me what he wants to do.  He’ll show me.  And either way, it’s OK.  Mr. Cello is now a hassle-free topic.  And that brings a little more peace.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Activities & Sports, Finding Peace, School, Transitions

Punkin Chunkin’–And a First Attempt at Vlogging

Last week my son’s Webelo den was invited to participate in a “punkin chunkin'” with a local Boy Scout troop.  The Boy Scouts had built 2 trebuchets, the larger standing approximately 10 feet tall at its axis.  Here’s an explanation of how a trebuchet works. Modern, homemade, medieval weaponry and flying pumpkins?  What’s not to love? This seemed like a good opportunity to give vlogging a try–I hope this video does the experience justice.

Boy Scouts Punkin Chunkin–November 2013

Any thoughts?

[Special thanks to National Pike District Boy Scout Troop 882 for inviting the younger boys to share this experience.]

Leave a Comment

Filed under Activities & Sports, Blogging, Holidays