It’s time to give credit where credit is overdue. I’m proud of my daughter and what she has made of this summer. While she has had plenty of time to hang out with friends, eat pizza, swim, and stay up late watching movies, she has also made time to get involved in a couple of interesting activities.
After discovering that field hockey is not her thing (she was good at the sport but didn’t like the team atmosphere–very sorority-like), she decided to pursue soccer this fall. The last time Middle Sister played soccer, she was 6. Our town is big on soccer; we produced a player on the most recent women’s Olympic soccer team. And apparently soccer parents in this town are big on how much playing time their kids get, because there were only two extra kids per team. 6-year-olds play on full-size fields, and with very few substitutes, 6-year-olds get tired pretty quickly. Middle Sister didn’t want to sign up for soccer the next year, and we didn’t push it.
But now, as a sophomore in high school, she wants to try it. So we invested in the cleats and the shin guards and the soccer ball and the week of soccer camp–and we’ll see how it goes once practices start. She seems to like it, and I have to give her credit for starting a new sport at 15 when most kids her age have been playing for 10 years already. She says she’s made some “newbie mistakes,” even some funny ones, but she has been eager to try, working to improve, and trying to make up for her lack of technique and finesse with heart and determination.
And she hasn’t gotten a lot of rest this week after spending 6 hours a day in the hot sun playing soccer–because she’s been spending her evenings at the community theatre with her brother. They’re both in the theatre’s Intern Company, a summer program of about 40 teens that produces a play. The kids write, direct, compose music, build sets, design special effects, advertise, sell tickets–they do it all, and have been working hard since June. Middle Sister is running the light boards for the play, which ends its run tomorrow night, and she also helped build and paint sets. She’s been having a great time.
Finally, she spent a week pet-sitting for our neighbor. They have a lizard (that required live insects for food), a guinea pig, and a dog. The dog spent most of the week here, and she really did a good job caring for him. He was very sad without his family, and Middle Sister tried everything short of feeding him from the table (she was super-strict about that) to make him happy. Sometimes her pet-sitting responsibilities interfered with her social life, but she didn’t complain or beg someone else to do her job.
No, she hasn’t yet completed (or even started, for that matter) her math packet or her summer-reading book. But I don’t think she’s wasted her time this summer. She’s still got a couple of weeks to buckle down and get the schoolwork done.