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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

She Might Just Get What She Wished For

This is the summer of Kate's tennis.  Actually every summer is the summer of Kate's tennis.  For that matter, every winter, spring, and fall have been devoted to Kate's tennis.  But this summer is unique in that it's the last summer before college that she'll be playing junior tennis.

I have mixed feelings about this.  I have spent the last six years schlepping from one end of the USTA Middle States section to the other.  I have been to Scranton, the Jersey Shore (in the winter), Clarks Summit, Zullinger, Allentown, Quakertown, and every town in between.  I have seen parts of Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Delaware, and New Jersey that really, no one needs to see.

In between I've been to St. Louis twice (once in the heat of the summer).  I've been to California (which wasn't so bad since that's where I'm from), and next week I'm off to Albuquerque.  There may be trips to Indiana this summer and to Georgia.  I've been everywhere you don't want to go in the season you want to avoid.

Yes, Kate and I have covered the globe, sort of.

And tomorrow we are hitting the road for Princeton, New Jersey.  Kate will be wielding her tennis racquet for the tennis coaches of the colleges she is most interested in attending.  She is playing in a college showcase, which will be attended by dozens of tennis coaches from the best D1 and D3 tennis programs in the country.

It's kind of a tennis moment of truth.

She's fine.  Me, not so much.

You see, I may talk a big game but this is all getting a little too real for me.  All the years of watching her play.  All the lessons and all the tournaments.  All the wins and all the loses.  Ted and I have been there for all of it.  All the years of wondering whether she'll be a good enough player to play college tennis (and yes! she is), have finally come to an end.  We are there and I am a little sad.

I am happy for Kate.  She's going to get to go to a wonderful college and get a wonderful education.  And she's going to get to play tennis for that school.  It's all ahead of her.

Ted and I will be done traveling to junior tennis tournaments.  We will lose track of all the kids and parents we've gotten to know so well over the years.  We will be done.  Occasionally we'll get to go and watch her play a college match.  I wonder if I'll still feel as nervous as I do when I watch her play now.

This is all good news.  We raise our kids to commit to things that are important to them.  We raise our kids to work hard at school so that they have choices.  We raise our kids to be good people.  We raise our kids so that, when the time comes, they can walk away from us with confidence.

Kate is ready.  She's ready to go now.  I'm glad that she has a little more time at home because I'm not quite sure that I'm as ready ads she is.

You Little Tarte will return next week.  Until then, order in.

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