Slice of Life Day 21: Standing On Your Own

For the month of March, I am blogging daily with Two Writing Teachers. Find more posts from other SOL writers here.
11454297503_e27946e4ff_hI’m standing on the computer table, reaching up to the clothes line inches below the ceiling to hang student work. My after school crew of old and new students fill the classroom.

The cell phone rings.

It’s your daughter, V. says and reaches up to give me the phone.

The conversation ensues,. She’s crying.  In about two seconds I know she’s not physically hurt. Her words are unintelligible, and I can tell she’s heart broken. The crying continues. I can’t understand — bad cell phone reception coupled with garbled words and sobs. I’m still standing on top of the computer table, cell phone to my ear, a piece of student work and a clip in my other hand.  Say that again, slower.

Still tears, but I get this: He won’t let me swim.

Making progress. Who won’t let you?

More crying and mangled noises.

I finally get that she’s in the locker room and her coach won’t let her swim until she is fully recovered.

Side note: she’s approximately three months post-knee surgery
and has been cleared to swim.

I try to clarify exactly what, why, how and finally get that her coach won’t let her swim in the work out, only in the injured lane. She is mad.

I have that momma bear moment., and I ask: What can I do to help?

More tears. More noises that form partial words.

I see the coach’s perspective. He doesn’t want her re injured and I try to convey this that so she understands his point of view, but she’ll have none of that.

After a few minutes of this conversation, she settles it by saying she will handle it.

Ok. I hang up, sending love and good luck.

I feel bad. She’s trying to get back to her former athlete self and now this roadblock. In the very recent past I would have been there righting a perceived wrong, but she said no. I wonder if she will stand up or just walk. It would be easier to walk. It’s a hard, coming back from injury. You have to really want it.  I know she’s happier when she swims. She’s missed it.  I know she needs this, but does she want it?

I keep working.

About an hour later, I text her for an update.

She responds: I’m mad.

I wonder, is that good?

Another hour goes by, and I give her a call. Wondering. How are you?

He’ll let me swim tomorrow.

(Sigh inside.) I say: I’m proud of you. You handled it.

I am proud. This is more than the swimming, this is life. When you are so angry and you want to (or you do) cry, but you don’t give up. You come back and deal with it. You don’t let the “no” stop you when you know it is something you should be able to do. You stand up, because  that is the only way you are going to get what you want, what you deserve.

My girl is tough. She can do this. I am so proud.

10 thoughts on “Slice of Life Day 21: Standing On Your Own

  1. What a wonderful daughter. Saying ‘no’ to mum helping you is very grown up. It must have been so hard for you not to jump in and fix it. I have been guilty of that many times. Too many. Great slice. 🙂

  2. Our children – they need and want our sympathy but yet they want to independently handle their crises! The pains of growing up but yet the comfort of knowing that someone will “listen” and also give them a safe haven that allows any and all words – to let all the emotions flow and then to handle it on their own.
    You have raised a fabulous daughter who trusts in you so much! Good job, Mama!

  3. Definitely a moment to be proud! I often think it’s easier to stand up for others than to stand up for ourselves. You both handled this situation beautifully.

  4. That is an awesome girl…sometimes they need us just to see it their way for a moment. Those girls grow up to become incredibly strong women and parents. I will forever be grateful for the discipline and team- attitude that my daughter has because of running, basketball and soccer. But they always still need us to sometimes just listen. This was an incredible piece for me to read today. xo

  5. It’s so easy to want to run and ‘fix it’, but she did choose to do for herself. How great that is for her & for you. Love hearing the story, Julieanne. The self-advocacy thing is huge for children, even the youngest, to be able to determine what is needed, and to go for it!

  6. Letting them live their life, when the mom-heart wants to make everything right, is tough but inevitable. Being a good listener is sometimes the best we can do. Your slice was such a true slice, in the moment, showing the action, sharing the dialogue and revealing inner thoughts.

  7. She is standing on the two feet her mom stands on (even if it is on the computer table). Your daughter has had a strong model to follow. Life will be good.

  8. Watching them spread their wings and stand up for themselves is such a proud moment, but it is also extremely difficult. She will do well in life with that determination and stick-to-it-ness!

  9. You should be so proud, Julieanne! It’s so tempting for us, as parents, and easy for kids, to handle these kinds of situations for them. Good for your daughter to handle this situation herself!

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