My dad picked me up from junior high. I had spent the last week in volleyball tryouts. It was the day that you find out who made the team.
There was no A-team and B-team. Either you made it or you didn't. I didn't.
I had felt good about the week. Felt that I'd given my best and did okay.
I came to the car, trying to hold it together. When I saw him, though, the tears started.
We sat a brief moment and then he walked me back into the building, into the coach's office. He asked if the coach wouldn't mind telling us why I hadn't made it and what I might work on if I thought about trying out next year. He was clear, but kind in his words.
The drive home was quiet. I'm sure he held my hand. I was disappointed, embarrassed and just sad.
When we got back to our house we sat in the driveway for a long time. He shared with me something recent that he had been disappointed about at work. Something he had worked so hard on, but in the end someone else got credit for it. I remember the story.
He has a way. Not relating per se, but being in the pain. Just there. And in being vulnerable, sharing his sadness and disappointment. He's done this other times, like a couple months after we miscarried. Clint was traveling and I went to Michigan. My dad and I walked the pier and I sobbed. He held me and, again, told me a story.
I didn't try out again for volleyball. My brother, the athlete growing up, even offered to give me pointers (maybe that was if I wanted to try for basketball, of which he was a star :)). I don't think I had the follow through.
But, those moments with my dad, as hard as they were, are something. I don't know why I thought of this story the other day, but I did. I'm so thankful to have that memory, even though I never would have chosen it.
(love you dad.)