My daughter stayed home sick yesterday with a cough and scratchy throat. She is pretty tough as sixth grade girls go, so when she does complain that she’s not well I take it seriously. My husband, upon getting home from work, suggested that Julia get ready for basketball practice that evening. I began to protest, saying that she felt better but questioning his judgment.
They are going over plays for the tournament this weekend. Even if she doesn’t play, she should be there to listen, he said. When I crinkled my nose, his response, though not shocking, got me to really thinking.
“She’s an athlete,” he said. “She’s a competitor, and she wants to be there.”
My daughter is an athlete. It’s official. She is an amazing basketball player, really. Those who have seen my brags, or as my friend Leslie termed them, my ‘shares’ on Face Book already know how good I think she is. Her strength, endurance, and talent amaze me. A gifted athlete. She’s also a gifted singer, actress, leader and writer. Many things that, at one point or another in my life, I thought I’d choose to be. Recently she took one of those occupational IQ tests at school, and got matched with one of two careers – teacher or clinical psychologist. Just like me when I was in Junior High during the Stone Age.
The biggest difference between my daughter and me, aside from our height and hair color, is that instead of just daydreaming, she is doing it. She has so many doors opening to her, even at the young age of 12, that it’s mind-blowing. The times we live in provide young women with so many opportunities. More than they did 35 years ago when I was her age? Yes, surely. And way more than my mother had back in the 40’s.