In 2006, we went on a extended-family (Steve's family) vacation to the Outer Banks.
Everyone went except for our eldest niece.
She was then entering high school and wanted to try out for the volleyball team.
The try-outs coincided with our week of vacation.
When I first found out that N was not going, I remember feeling confused about why volleyball trumped the family vacation.
Also, I was sad she was not going, since I was kind of close to her.
I also felt so removed from the possibility that one day, my own child's desires may not jive with my idea of what is best. (I did not know that was even possible.)
Now that I am a mother to a teenager, I suddenly get why N's parents allowed her to skip the family vacation in order to try out for volleyball.
They were allowing her to hatch a bit in preparation for an independent life in the future.
While she did not end up playing high school volleyball, she did grow up to be a mature adult, ready for a life on her own. (She just graduated from college)
Only now am I realizing how important it was for her parents to listen to her and to support her aspirations.
I wonder if N appreciates that? (I must ask her)
Eight years later, K, entering her sophomore year of high school has decided to quit running for the cross-country team.
Despite the fact that I associate running with mental health, we have been supportive about this decision.
She says that she enjoys running but hated having to run.
Ever since she quit she seems to be a happier person.
I get that.
I wonder if K will appreciate our efforts to force her into certain things (like piano, the scholarship pageant) and our support of her decision to quit XC?
Today I took K to her first day of high school tennis.