Got our lacrosse gear the other day... It's a proud day when an athlete sees their name or their number on their jersey or gear. I remember the first time I saw my name on my gear... in that moment, I was a real athlete. I was ready to take on all the challenges and help lead my team to victory. I felt invincible.
I still own some of my old gear from high school and college. And I look back on those worn rags with my name on them with fondness. The hoodies were security blankets for losses. T-shirts doubled as towels for post game showers. Swearpants and socks that kept me warm on the sidelines while I waited to go in... I can't remember the scores or each and every game and practice. As I get older those memories all become molded into one general and significant feeling of joy and pain, accomplishment and defeat, life lessons and time tested friendships.
It's a given that with the school or club's name on the front of the jersey you know who you're playing for. But there's an extra bit of pride that develops just by having your last name stitched somewhere on your jersey. It reminds you that you not only represent the club or the institution, your coaches and your teammates... but you also represent your family. What an honor. And since we no longer train our kids and teens in a traditional warrior style, athletics is as close as we can get.
I'm excited for her. Im excited for us. Im excited to watch her wipe away angry tears on sleeves and swing tshirts above her head in jubilation. I'm excited to watch her decide to quit or stick through it. Im excited to give my loving opinion while stepping back and letting her figure out what's right. But the idea of seeing a jersey with our family's name on it rush out onto some field or track fills me with joy. And watching my daughter skip out of practice with her new gear let's me known that she's excited too.