I love this picture. It brings so much joy to my heart, and I'll tell you why. One is a dancer and the other is a volleyball player. They are both following their dreams and supporting each other all the way. There is a part of Brailey that wishes she could still play with Nikki, but not a big enough part to want to do all the work that is involved. And I am sure there is a part of Nikki that wishes Brailey still played, also. But the great thing is that they love and support each other.
We attended our first high school football team as official "high school parents," a couple of weeks ago. Brailey had dance practice after school and then she had to sell 50/50 raffle tickets, so we met her at the game. And what did we see when we arrived? She and Nikki, together, selling tickets. Nikki held the sign and Brailey sold the tickets, and I know I am a bit prejudiced, but they were so cute!
Brailey and I have been thrilled to watch Nikki play in her volleyball games. Nikki is doing so well! Ironically, Brailey knows every girl on the team except for a couple. And she loves their coach - he was and will forever be her favorite coach. Unfortunately, when we go to the games, she doesn't get to stay for the entire time, becauuse she has dance practice, but lucky for me, I do get to stay, and I absolutely love watching these girls! Of course, I have my favorites, who doesn't? And Nikki is at the top of the list, but there are several from previous teams that Brailey was on, and it is an absolute kick to watch and cheer them on.
On the day I took this picture of the two of them, which was right before Nikki played, I was working at the ticket desk with another dance mom. I was dreading the experience, but it turned out to be a blast! I got to see so many people from volleyball, and it made me truly happy to see them. The other dance mom said to me, "Wow, these are your people, aren't they?" And I thought, "Gosh! They really are! I love them all!" I never fit in with anyone, so it was a wonderful thought to think I have my own group of peeps. And I have missed them dearly. It is wonderful to get to see them again!
That's the the thing about kids and sports - you meet a lot of great people. You meet a lot of not-so-great people, too, and sometimes when you are in the middle of it, those folks can ruin it for you. Now that I'm on "the other side" of the court, so to speak, where Brailey isn't competing with some of the meaner ones, I can relax and cheer for everyone. Of course I still have some resentments from how some of them treated Brailey with their jealousy and spite, but for the most part, I am just thrilled to be there watching a game I love with girls I truly enjoy watching with absolutely no pressure. More than anything, I love visiting with my volleyball people.
As far as Brailey goes, her social circle has finally expanded for her. She has her core group of Spanish Immersion friends, she has her volleyball friends and her bestie, and she has new friends from her horse world she met over the summer. I am so happy for her to be able to meld these different groups together. What a blessing! It is going to be more fun than I ever imagined to watch all these different groups over the next four years.