Tournament Weekend

Cute W, J, and I spent the weekend out of town at a volleyball tournament. Prior to this year, an out-of-town tournament almost always meant that we parents would split up, and if there weren’t two different tournaments happening, one parent would just stay home. But now that M’s graduation is looming, the perspective has shifted a bit, at least for J’s tournaments. It’s become abundantly clear that our lives as parent spectators won’t last forever, and even though heading out of town for games can be boring and stressful and exhausting, it also happens to be one of our favorite things to do in the world. We figure that the weekend household tasks can (mostly) wait for our empty nest. At the same time, M is almost a grown-up, fully capable of taking care of herself, and she is ecstatic when she doesn’t have to share the house, my car, and our cats for the whole weekend.

So! On Friday I stocked the fridge and Cute W took the afternoon off and we headed to Rochester. Oh, speaking of which, here’s the first local casualty of the corona virus:

The hand sanitizing sections at our local grocery stores!

When we arrived in town, we Yelped for a nearby restaurant and found Naan-Tastic. It was super-tasty. Think Indian food getting the fast food, make-it-to-order treatment like at Chipotle or Blaze. Here’s some of the food we got:

It was fresh and tasty and there were more options that I would have liked to have tried. The decor was cute, too. In fact, I am pretty bummed out because I looked up the restaurant fully expecting that it was a big enough franchise that soon one will open up locally, but no luck. So far there are only two locations, in Rochester and Buffalo.

Anyway, the tournament went well. J played well, all the girls have improved, they won many games and lost a few, too. At one point I noticed this, which made me laugh:

That’s two of our team moms each watching a different kid’s game on the phone while also watching our girls’ game. One of them had a son playing basketball back home, another had a daughter in a different age bracket across town. Ah, modern technology!

Here’s J having some sort of heart-to-heart with her coach. I got very little information about what was said.

Butting out of my kids’ relationships with their coaches is one of my consistent challenges now, in their teen years.

Watching volleyball is stressful. The scoring is so quick that it’s a roller coaster, and the vibe can go from awesome to hopeless in moments. I know hardly anything about volleyball, but I can almost always guess when the coach is about to call a time-out just based on the palpable emotional state of the six adolescents on the court. You’ll start a game thinking that your kids will definitely win or definitely lose, and then you’re surprised. But really, none of it actually matters. So you’re all swept up in the game, and then when it’s over, either way you need to find something to eat and wait around for the next game.

Until you get to the elimination round. But my philosophy of elimination rounds at tournaments is that it’s basically impossible to lose. Either you win by winning, or you win by losing and getting to go home and relax!

For J’s last game, they played really well against a tough team. And then we arrived home in time for me to throw in a first load of laundry before dinner.

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