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Two Writing Teachers
My daughter, Megan, played basketball for ten years, so many hours during those ten years were spent in a gym. Yesterday, I was back in the gym with that rhythmic sound of a ball bouncing on the hardwood, the smell of sweaty kids and stinky shoes and socks, and parents yelling in the stands. But this time, I was watching Megan on the other side - the coaching side.
Megan grew up with a basketball in her hand and my sister, Janis, by her side. Janis was the girls' high school coach, and Megan could always be found watching from the bleachers. Megan could tell you every player, her position, and her number. Those girls were her heroes, and she couldn't wait to wear that "Lady Alices" uniform. Basketball was her life, and my sister played a huge part of that.
Janis retired from coaching when Megan was in the fifth grade. After she made the announcement, she came to our house to tell Megan. Megan cried and cried. Her dream was to play for my sister. I know Janis's decision to retire was not an easy one to make because of this special relationship with Megan. I remember sleeping with Megan that night, trying to comfort her as she cried herself to sleep. She was devastated.
Much to our delight, Janis ended up coaching Megan during her middle school years on a travel team. It wasn't school ball, but she was her coach. Again, Janis was by her side.
When Megan became a freshman, Janis came out of retirement and became the assistant coach. I think she felt as if she had let Megan down when she retired, and she wanted to become a part of her high school career. Once again, Janis was by her side.
I remember watching Megan run out onto the court that first time as a varsity player. This was her dream. This was what she wanted to do since she was a little girl. Sadly, for many reasons, that dream did not turn out as she expected.
This year Megan and I went to a high school game. Sitting next to Megan, I watched her as a spectator once again. I asked, "Do you miss it?"
"Do you see yourself down there someday?"
She smiled and answered, "I left some unfinished business on that court."
Megan is in her third year of college and wants to become a teacher and a coach. Megan and Janis are now coaching my niece's travel team together. Megan still has a basketball in her hands and my sister is still by her side. This time as a mentor.
I look forward to the day when this comes full circle. Megan coaching from the sidelines - finishing that business she left on the court, and my sister in the bleachers watching her protégée...forever by her side.
|Megan watching her team during warm-ups.