January 31, 2014: 8th Grade, Again?

Grant is the one in the suit...the coach, of course
I played a little hooky this afternoon to watch the St. Wenceslaus 8th Grade vs. Teachers volleyball match. Grant was one of the coaches. My late breaking choice to attend proved to be a good one.

Last night, Grant carefully planned his coaching wardrobe; choosing a suit with a tie in the team color of red. As he carefully laid out his coaching strategy to me on the way to school, I knew I needed to figure out a way to be there. And that I did.

Just four years past, Benny Lane, filled the same coveted role as coach of the 8th graders. Ben had a drawn-on mustache and wore a pair of his older brother's head phones for effect. I missed watching the rivalry play that day. It didn't work into my schedule.

Later, another mom sent me pictures of my coach-son and told me what a riot the match was, as was Ben's performance. Regret. My happenings of the day didn't seem as important anymore as I viewed the text photos of Ben.

And then I blinked and four years passed. It happened quickly and seemingly on the sly. Somehow my 8th grader, Ben, is now a senior and Grant; completing his grade school years. Those pictures of a smiling Ben, eagerly coaching his classmates, remain embedded in my brain.

Today I took the pictures myself.

Grant owned his Greg McDermott look. He encouraged his players on the floor while handling the exuberant crowd on the sidelines. The student body roared with every 8th grade point and returned hit. A band played and the teachers were nothing short of overly-competitive. A good thing. A fun match.

The teachers won handily, although the teens showed a good effort. Competitive Grant was not happy with some of the calls. His mom thought it was all in fun. Grant & Co. just wanted to win. But collectively, the 8th grade crew were jumping and chanting in the end. Picture taking with glowing smiles among the red shirts, red wigs and tutu's were galore.

No doubt, it was an overall win. I'm glad I played hooky.


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