As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about….more family milestones. I am so not good at change. I could barely read Who Moved the Cheese, being one of those people that just so happens to like things the way they are. In my head I know that my job as a mother is to raise a family that is well adjusted and independent, but in my heart, I wish we could go back in time and live forever with Nick as a 6th grader and Amanda as a 3rd grader. Those were particularly innocent, sweet and tender years.
Like mother like daughter. When Amanda was four she cried when we sold our old Volvo station wagon in exchange for our Yukon XL, explaining that the station wagon was the only car she had ever known. So you can imagine my surprise when it became apparent last month that Amanda had slowly come to the conclusion that she was no longer “in it to win it” at gymnastics.
This is a little girl that has dedicated her entire life to gymnastics for the past decade (and she just turned 15). 20 hours a week, 52 weeks a year she trained. Most days I would find her standing by the car door, her arms crossed, tapping her foot, waiting for me as she’d scold, “Gym starts at 9, Coach doesn’t say get there at 9.” She happily missed play dates and birthday parties to go to the gym. So dedicated was she that she opted out of attending both her 7th grade trip to Springfield and an 8th grade overnight so she wouldn’t miss precious hours in the gym as she prepared for her State and Regional meets. Ever a boastful mom; it paid off. Last year she competed a Yurchenko vault and she was the Illinois State Vault Champion.
Gymnastics is a brutal sport. This fall she was treated for a stress fracture in her back; which was the beginning of the end. While wearing her corset, she had all kinds of time to adjust to life as a freshman in high school; football games, friends, sleepovers. She loved it and she should have. Apparently she discovered that an entire world exists outside of the gym, and she wants to experience it. Good for her!
Somebody moved the cheese……..I will certainly mourn the passing of our gymnastics years; the families, the meets, the road trips, the overnights, the Pay-per-view movies in our room, doing her hair (fancy hair is almost as important to gymnastics as it is to beauty pageants, but not quite as weird) and all the time Amanda and I logged in the car listening to books on tape, jamming to our I-Pods and just talking.
Though, there is a silver lining. Over the past several weeks, Amanda has been home with us at night. Instead of pulling back the aluminum foil as she takes her supper out of the warming drawer at 8:45pm, all four of us eat dinner together as a family. Nick and Amanda have always been exceptionally close. The very best part is all of the time she’s had to spend with her brother before he heads off to college in the fall. Every night Nick takes Amanda with him to work out at the health club. It’s not all lollipops, unicorns and rainbows, I’m sure they nearly come to fisticuffs. They are a very competitive pair. That’s okay. What they’ll have are more memories of all the times they shared together. I can live with that.
More success, more excitement, more living, more memories…….