Slice of Life Day 21: Standing On Your Own

For the month of March, I am blogging daily with Two Writing Teachers. Find more posts from other SOL writers here.
11454297503_e27946e4ff_hI’m standing on the computer table, reaching up to the clothes line inches below the ceiling to hang student work. My after school crew of old and new students fill the classroom.

The cell phone rings.

It’s your daughter, V. says and reaches up to give me the phone.

The conversation ensues,. She’s crying.  In about two seconds I know she’s not physically hurt. Her words are unintelligible, and I can tell she’s heart broken. The crying continues. I can’t understand — bad cell phone reception coupled with garbled words and sobs. I’m still standing on top of the computer table, cell phone to my ear, a piece of student work and a clip in my other hand.  Say that again, slower.

Still tears, but I get this: He won’t let me swim.

Making progress. Who won’t let you?

More crying and mangled noises.

I finally get that she’s in the locker room and her coach won’t let her swim until she is fully recovered.

Side note: she’s approximately three months post-knee surgery
and has been cleared to swim.

I try to clarify exactly what, why, how and finally get that her coach won’t let her swim in the work out, only in the injured lane. She is mad.

I have that momma bear moment., and I ask: What can I do to help?

More tears. More noises that form partial words.

I see the coach’s perspective. He doesn’t want her re injured and I try to convey this that so she understands his point of view, but she’ll have none of that.

After a few minutes of this conversation, she settles it by saying she will handle it.

Ok. I hang up, sending love and good luck.

I feel bad. She’s trying to get back to her former athlete self and now this roadblock. In the very recent past I would have been there righting a perceived wrong, but she said no. I wonder if she will stand up or just walk. It would be easier to walk. It’s a hard, coming back from injury. You have to really want it.  I know she’s happier when she swims. She’s missed it.  I know she needs this, but does she want it?

I keep working.

About an hour later, I text her for an update.

She responds: I’m mad.

I wonder, is that good?

Another hour goes by, and I give her a call. Wondering. How are you?

He’ll let me swim tomorrow.

(Sigh inside.) I say: I’m proud of you. You handled it.

I am proud. This is more than the swimming, this is life. When you are so angry and you want to (or you do) cry, but you don’t give up. You come back and deal with it. You don’t let the “no” stop you when you know it is something you should be able to do. You stand up, because  that is the only way you are going to get what you want, what you deserve.

My girl is tough. She can do this. I am so proud.