As high school season ends, my “nest” gets a little bit sparser #VolleyballMom

The ending of High School volleyball has me feeling melancholy…right to my bones.

There’s an ache I’m all too familiar with as my youngest of three, finished her stint this weekend with the Halifax West Warriors. (A 5th place win at provincials that had us down to a three game set and a final score of 17-15!)

This year, four players will graduate and as they stood holding their roses (a tradition started by their coach), there was that bitter-sweet sadness that comes from the realization that THAT, was the very last game. The shock of the abruptness, even though they were well aware it was coming, was evident from their tear-streaked faces. Three years of wearing the shiny red, black and white jerseys and being teased that they looked like PowerRangers…had come to this moment…the last time they’d wear those jerseys together.

Photo Credit – Paul Morris

While I watched them, taken with the passing of time as I’ve seen these teammates grow and change through the years, cheered them on and been part of their lives…I realized I look forward to seeing where life will take each one of them. I’m proud of all they’re accomplished and excited for their futures. But, much as I love the feeling of seeing kids mature into beautiful human beings…I feel the sparseness of the twigs beneath my feet as one more child of mine gets closer to leaving the nest. While I should be all too familiar with these feelings of grief…there’s a new added twist.

In the cases before, I’ve always had the comfort of knowing that I’ve had “one more left” and suddenly, I’m faced with this huge realization that I don’t, in fact, have any more left.

As Emily finished High School, I remember feeling nostalgic and proud. I wrote about her graduation and prom and as overwhelmed as I felt at the time…I was excited for her. I knew that times were changing for all of us and much as I couldn’t quite fathom the fact that she was taking flight…I felt it was time for her to spread her wings and was comforted by the simple fact that…I had two more left.

When Noah finished Hockey…it was a blow I hadn’t expected and I did my best to explain it in the “Hockey Mom” post that resonated with many people as to date, it’s been read over 200,000 times! Again…when he graduated, much as I was reeling with the idea that he’d soon be leaving home and how much my life would change both without the constant of hockey AND with him being in another province, I took comfort in the simple fact that…I had one more left.

High School Volleyball has officially ended. Tryouts for Club have begun so there’s still tons of ball ahead over the next few months…but there’s this huge pit in my stomach as more twigs are scattered from my nest and with the ending of the season this weekend, it’s completely hit me…even though I’ve been all too aware that it’s coming…there is no one left.

I have loved my children’s involvement in sports. What they have learned from team play has been immeasurable. I’ve loved the time I’ve spent with them re-hashing the games, discussing their teams, helping them through disappointments and being there to celebrate the wins. I’ve enjoyed getting to know the other players on the team and have watched friendships grow through the years. I’ve loved my time on the bleachers with the other parents.

My life has been revolved around my children’s sports and as we face another milestone…it’s another realization that very soon…I’ll be quite alone. As many folks who face the “emptying nest” turn to their partners while entering this brand new phase in life, I turn to my left…and there’s no one there.

If the tears and the melancholiness I’ve felt this last few days is any indication of what I’ll feel come Spring…when we head into the final stretch of Grade 12 with proms and graduations for my youngest…I’ll definitely need to stock up on Kleenex, take a few days off, book some extra counselling, visit the spa a couple of times, and take extra good care of my emotional well-being!

While I feel my life has been nothing but one change after the next this last few years…there are still big changes ahead. With many reservations (selfish though they may be), there’s also a part of me that’s absolutely thrilled for my last baby bird as she faces the excitement ahead.

My feathered flock has taken or is about to take flight and this old bird, left in the sparse little nest, is very soon going to have to figure out how to fly on her own without relying on her children to guide her.

I’m not quite sure these battered and broken wings are ready to soar. But dammit…I’m sure gonna try!

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HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to the Halifax West Volleyball team for fighting their way through the wildcard qualification tournament to earn a spot at provincials and garnering a 5th place win. To all of the graduating players on the 1st through 4th placed provincial champions…Citadel High School, Truro CEC, CPA and Sir John A…it has been a pleasure to watch you play through the last few years and I look forward to watching many of you on the courts for the Club season. I’m excited for each and every one of these young women as they look towards the next phase of their education (both athletically and academically!) Spread those wings and FLY!! xo

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Check out the photos from all of the games on the Images by Paul Morris Facebook Page.