It is a rainy, drab, chilly Sunday. It’s also a great day. Helaine, Stefanie and I have just been to Steffie’s field hockey team annual dinner.
Steffie received the award as ‘Most Improved Player’. It was a great honor and an award I feel was well deserved. Watching her play defense was amazing for Helaine and me. Steffie was fearless, aggressive and had an uncanny ability to pick the pocket of offensive players.
She wore her injuries (and she got pretty banged up this season) as a badge of honor.
The team and many parents got together in the basement banquet room at ‘Eli’s on Whitney,’ a local restaurant. Upstairs the bar was busy with banks of TVs showing out-of-town NFL games. Downstairs, it was all about the high school field hockey season that had just ended.
As the dinner went on, and the coach and some players spoke, Helaine and I realized this was the beginning of the end of Steffie’s high school life. Sure, she’ll be going to school for another six months or so, but now she’ll be doing many things for the last time.
That’s what made this celebration bittersweet. There’s no guarantee we’ll see Steffie play field hockey again – or that she’ll ever play again. It’s not the kind of game you play pick-up style with friends. There’s a good chance she’ll go to a college with no field hockey program/
Though field hockey has been important to all of us, it’s not that field hockey’s ending that’s so important. It’s that we’re leaving one part of her life and heading into another. There’s no stopping. There’s no turning back.
We hope it’s a bright future facing Steffie. She deserves a bright future. But no matter how bright, we’ll miss where we’ve been.
At this point, life is moving much too quickly. Steffie might not agree with that but I know Helaine does unconditionally.