Beast, Beauty and she has Brains! …. A Grandpa Tale
In so many of my posts to date I have poked fun at my daughter, I have told stories about teaching her to drive, about her college friends invading our home, about her tattoos, and about our boating adventures at Disney. I know I have accused her of being beautiful (cause she is), and I have talked about how smart she is. Now I want to just say she was a beast in High School and her freshman year at college.
Allison is an only child, and she has enjoyed all the trapping of being an only child. Yes she was spoiled and still is, but not as badly as some. But this isn’t about being spoiled, though I may have to write about that at some point. This is about her being a beast. Allison got her brains and beauty from her mom, there is no doubt about it, she is as lovely as her mom, and just as smart. But she got her competitive edge and desire to win from me. She plays Monopoly like she is a slum lord. And competitive doesn’t even begin to describe how she tackles Yahtzee, especially a friendly (ha) family game. My wife can barely stand playing me Yahtzee one on one, but if Allison is involved the wife runs and hides. But this isn’t about that. It’s about her just being a beast. My daughter played basketball her freshman year in High School, she was so so at best and it pissed her off, she was taller than 95 pct of the girls she played against, but she didn’t have any natural talent, and she sure didn’t inherit any from me. So after her freshman year, she chooses to move on from basketball. Out of the blue she choose Lacrosse, I had never seen a game played, I didn’t know what the equipment looked like, I didn’t know the rules, heck at the time I didn’t even know it was played outside. Allison moved me completely away from my comfort zone, I knew basketball, I loved basketball, but like Allison I had no skills. Unless having the ability to foul out in less than 10 minutes is a skill, because that was my specialty.
But Allison wanted to play Lacrosse, and both my wife and I became her biggest fans. I remember taking Allison to the sporting goods store to buy her 1st Lacrosse stick, I let her choose which one, but probably steered her away from the most expensive. We also got her the cleats and the pads, which I probably didn’t steer her away from the most expensive. We wanted her protected, and were more than happy to eat those costs.
Before 1st season started I remember playing catch with Allison in the backyard. I had my ball glove on, and Allison was equipped with her stick. Remember that sound in baseball when you hear the ball pop as it was caught. That was the noise my glove made. I always tried to catch her throws in the web of my glove because if I caught in my palm, my hand would sting for days. Allison was firing the lacrosse ball at me sometimes I thought faster than the speed of sound, because I felt the sting long before I heard the pop. I remember manning up and throwing that ball as hard as I could, throwing my best fastball and Allison snatching it out of the air like I threw it under hand to her. Then she would whip it back at me, yes I said at, not to, and sometimes I just had to duck and let it bounce off the fence. She scared the crap out of me. It was so natural, so fluid; she was beauty/beast in movement. And I remember thinking and she likes me, what about those poor slobs she doesn’t like. Her passes were pinpoint, and made me look a fool, but it was worth it. I could throw it anywhere in her general direction, and she caught it, I could bounce it to her, she caught it, I could try and throw it over her head she caught it. She was a beast. She worked as hard at learning how to be a great player as she ever worked at anything before or since (well maybe she has worked a lot harder being a great mom). But all of her efforts paid off. Did I say she was a beast at lacrosse, well let me say it LOL. She was a beast.
Allison was not a good Lacrosse player she was GREAT. When Allison started lacrosse it would be fair to say I didn’t know squat about Lacrosse. But I would be the 1st parent hoarse screaming at a game, cheering her team on in the loudest voice I had. One time her coach a very fine lady name Amy Newell came into the stands to tell me the referee was going to call a bench yellow card on her team if I didn’t shut up. So I bit the end of my tongue off and the team didn’t get the yellow card. Allison played “attacker” for her team, and damn was she good. She played the game with such intensity, such determination, and with skills I only dreamed of having. She played Lacrosse for 3 years in high school and one year of college. She made the all-county teams all 3 seasons she played, one year she made second team all-county and spent the last half of the season on the bench with a broken leg. I can only imagine how great she would have been had she played a year without a significant injury. Another season she sprained her ankle so bad that it kept her from performing at her peak but it didn’t prevent her from playing. I was so damn proud of her, hell I am still proud of her. In college (she made the team as a walk on), but she broke her back playing Lacrosse and that pretty much ended her Lacrosse playing days.
During the 3 years Allison played Lacrosse, I think I missed maybe 3 games, four at the most. I went to home and away, I was the passionate one about half way up the stands. I would watch Allison race, back and forth, I would watch her carry her stick high, and pass sharply; I would see shots on goal and be amazed. Then I would see her race to play defense. Folks to this day I don’t know the rules of Lacrosse, but I will say it is more intense, more physical and more demanding than any other team sport I have ever watched with the exception of field hockey, her other choice in sports, which she was also a beast.
Folks, I imagine that somewhere in the way way way back of her brain Allison would consider coaching Lacrosse. If she were to choose that there is no doubt in my mind she would be a damn good coach. But she has chosen to be a Teacher, and your kids would be damn lucky to have her. I call her a beast because of what a great jock she was in High School and in College, but now folks she is a BEAST because of how she teaches, for the care she shows her students, for the skills she passes on to them, for the encouragement she provides and for the love of teaching she clearly displays. She takes great pride in her abilities, and her kids reap the benefits. They don’t have all-star teams for teachers but maybe they should. Allison would be a 1st team all-star every year. Smiling proudly, she has been nominated for Teacher of the Year several times, and has been awarded that for her district.
Folks, thanks for taking a few moments and listening to me brag about my kid. Someday Cari (my granddaughter) will read this and have a great conversation with her mom, and they both will smile.
As always if you have any questions, thoughts, concerns or comments please feel free to share them. Thank you, Bill