Decisions that matter and those that change everything

Bilateral Prophylactic Mastectomy, a decision made after years of anguished thought, one that changed my life.  Words to some, but a 2 year-long process that changed everything about how I think, how I make decisions and almost everything about my life.  The entire stream of thought that started this blog as I worked through my decisions to have surgery over 3 years ago.  I truly do believe that the process changed my life as well as my families.

Over time these pages became my thoughts on life, parenting and more.  I have never changed the name because no matter the thoughts shared, they have always been about “decisions” in some way.  I mean that is all life is right?  A long road paved in decisions both good and bad.

As your kids grow they become involved in activities, sports and otherwise and you grow to trust the adults, often parents who also have children involved.  You tell yourself that they are doing what is best for all of the kids as well as your child.  This is our story with soccer.  The girls have both played since 5 years old.  Issues began to show themselves last year with our older daughter’s team but to be honest at the time I was in the midst of the Town Council election race and could not refused to see it  act on the issues.

11928724_10203867858291906_7063304232702176066_nIt became clear the development of my child was not important to those in charge of the team.  She was not having fun, the team was not growing and something had to give.  In our town many demand loyalty to the “township”.  I am loyal only to those I love and those loyal to myself and those I love.  It became clear it was time for a decision,

Decisions, stay within our township and play for a team put together as an after thought,

Decisions, Play for other townships who we once competed against(a few wanted Meg because she was one of the strongest full-time goalkeepers in the area, a position she never wanted to play full-time)

Decisions, go totally outside the established township societal rules and try out for a private club team.

The long process of making this decision sounds so silly to some but when the will, thoughts and feelings of an 11-year-old girl are involved, absolutely nothing is easy.  This was a very difficult decision, she would not know anyone, she would play outside of our community.  Since she was not ever provided playing time on the field (outside of goal) she was at a clear disadvantage.  We showed up for a training and after only 45 minutes my girl was accepted to the team, a private club team.  The interesting feedback from the evening, she would be expected to play all aspects and was too young to be limited to any one aspect of the game but that they would train her.  The decision was clear and made immediately.  My girl was thrilled.

For the last 2 months we have practiced and trained all guided under the eyes of her new coach.  Scrimmages and 3 v 3 competitions to prepare for the season brought us to this past weekend.  Our first tournament to prepare for the season.  With Megan’s background and skill she is still the starting keeper for the team and started all 3 games during the first half.  In the second half of the first game she took the field  as a mid-fielder playing a mixed offensive/defensive position and pulled her weight.  It was the second game where my head spun!  Midway through the second half  I saw my girl substituted into the game as a Forward.  I figured she was there just to give someone a water break and that it would be a short shift but then something happened.  Meg had only been in the game for about 2-3 minutes when her team began moving down the field.  A beautiful pass from a teammate right to the center of the field where Meg was waiting and with one touch Megan launched the ball into the top of the net for her first goal ever.

Meg jumped so high it became clear to her teammates how special this was for her.  Hugs and high fives were exchanged.  Pride, confidence, development and teamwork.  Our decision was clearly the right one.  I have never seen my daughter practice so hard and enjoy the game so much.  She looks forward to practice and can not wait for the next game.  They will not win every game but they have heart, fight and a will to succeed.  If life were a book I would have to say that this chapter is still being written but the first few pages look like one great story!

The more things change……

As a child during the summer we had not scheduled plans.  No camp, no arranged sporting activities and no focus on much of anything educational.  My mother was a single parent and would head off to work early leaving us much to our own devices for the day.  We each had chores that we were responsible for but outside of those we would play.   How wonderful right?  The ability to freely run the neighborhood playing carefree.  Be home in time for dinner.  We played at this house and that, we ran through the open field and the woods and would take the trail to the baseball field.  None of these areas were anywhere in sight of my house nor did anyone ever think about the need to have constant sight on us.  It was the same for most kids that we knew.

Sadly, the times have changed.  It is just not safe to run so free.  Pull up a map of registered sex offenders in your area and wonder how you could ever let your kids out of there locked bedrooms let alone the house.

Someday’s I would prefer to just hold them tight and pretend the world does not exist.  Of course that would not be healthy for anyone.  Instead I am trying to raise my girls to be strong and healthy physically and mentally. Our summer has been full.  Soccer, basketball and karate camps to keep the girls sharp physically.  Library visits to keep little minds wondering and questioning.  We went today and picked up a new round of books.  Megan grabbed the 3rd in the Sister’s Grimm series along with three others.  My first-born is plowing through 2-3 books a week, my mother would have been so proud!  I have not completed 2-3 books in the last 20 years.  I just love to watch her as she reads, as if I can actually see her mind processing what it is taking in, just amazing! Today we also took time to work on some math lessons, for Madi time telling and money and for Meg geometry.

I remember when my mother would make comments about how things had changed from when she was a young girl.  We usually tuned her out or chuckled at some of the stories.  Now I am the one saying it to my children and the laughs come from the loves of my life.  Someday they will stand in my shoes, I can only imagine what things will look like then!