Hi, Dad

Hi, Dad!

Hopefully you and mom made it to your Dr.’s appointment okay today.  Still waiting to hear from you that you made it there..  Today’s been good, I got most of my homework done for tomorrow; I’m just waiting for inspiration to strike me again to finish up my last paper.  I’m attempting to make cinnamon apple chips right now, but we all know that ovens and I don’t get along so I don’t have too high of hopes for them 😉

The other day in my Sports Psychology class, we were to share a time where we were “in-the-zone” or having our peak performance.  I told you on the phone last night which moment I chose, but I didn’t tell you why it resonates with me so much.

I chose that final point of the district volleyball game three years ago because sometimes I think that everything we’d done led up to that game.
Oh all those long hours of practice in the gym,
The early mornings you made me we got up and you helped me go through drills and work-outs,
The time we were playing in the gym and I knocked you over from my serve (thanks for that).

I chose that final point because of you and mom coming to every game that you could, which I think was probably every game I ever played in.
I chose that final point most importantly because, you were always telling me
                                                     “don’t sell yourself short”.

I chose that final point because I wanted to make you smell my kneepads after we won because we had that deal.  I thought about that during those 5 sets “Dad HAS to smell my kneepads; we have to win”.
I can hear your “Hooooweeeee!!!” sound you made after smelling them.

You know what I thought about when I was serving game point?  Well, a couple of things.
#1: This would be the only time ever that I wanted somebody to yell “Over and in!” because that was my most important goal in that moment.
#2: Back in, like, junior high, when we played outside every night during the summer with our net strung up between the tetherball pole and the aspen trees.  The last thing you made me do every night was serve some balls “over and in”.  Then, (even though I thought it was terribly cheesy and weird) you would cheer and hoot and holler and clap and use your announcer voice to say that “#6 Libby is now up to serve game point for the Bulldogs in the District Final game!!!”  Then, if you were really into it, sometimes you’d pretend to be the opponents, and that always made me laugh (even if I didn’t outloud then).

You know why I thought about that?  Because that’s exactly what was happening at that moment.

#6 Libby was up to serve game point for the Bulldogs in the fifth set of the District Final game.

And I couldn’t have done it without you.

I put myself in the backyard.  I was a silly kid in junior high serving to my dad just like every other night.  The crowd was gone.  You had taught me what to do in that moment.  I never believed that would come true.  Not in a million years!  But there I was on the end line, bouncing the ball in my rhythm, right by the tree and the dirt I leveled out to bounce my ball in.  And it was the game point of the district final set.

I can still feel the emotion from that night, but now its mixed with something other than just the happiness of winning.  Its mixed with love and respect for what you did for me all those years.  I know now that you weren’t just teaching me about volleyball, but you were modeling how to be a good parent, how to be tough, but generous in life, and even how to have fun while doing all those things.     (oh yeah, and doing things the first time you ask about it—doing those scholarships tonight!)

Thanks, dad.

Praying for your surgery tomorrow.  Sure wish we could be there with you to help you out and just hang out with you and mom.  I’ll be waiting for a text or phone call tomorrow from you, mom.  Don’t worry about interrupting class or anything—this is more important.

Before I get too tearful over here, I better go check on my apple chips–I already singed some of them.  But, I won’t give up trying to make them because you know why, dad?  Even if I missed one of those serves in the backyard, there was always another game point serve to make.

Thanks for that.

Love you.




6 thoughts on “Hi, Dad

  1. kelseyempfield says:

    Libby, this piece is beautiful. Thanks for bringing the similar experiences I’ve had with my dad using that announcers voice in the backyard playing catch with me. I always know a good writer when they can pry tears from my stubborn eyes. I hope all is well with roger…I’ll send good vibes and prayers his way.


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