These weekend trips pile on the memories for our family and for all the players. In the excitement of this weekend a few of my most cherished memories from the years before came to mind. The image engraved in my mind from last year is this:
We were fortunate enough to get invited to an elite tournament in Florida last July, and we took all the boys to Daytona Beach. If I remember right, only one or 2 of these boys had ever been in the ocean before, and I remember as they all walked in they were holding hands and jumping over the waves. 3 hours later when we met back up with the boys to load up and head back to the hotel, they were still in this same spot on the ocean, swimming and jumping over the waves. They had sent one boy up to the Pizza Hut on the shore to order them a pizza, and other than that, they hadn’t left the ocean! :)
I will also remember this image from 1 ½ years ago:
When JJ was about 18 months old, he went through a phase in which he only wanted to be with Jake. So, when we traveled to these tournaments, he would see Jake coaching across the gym and scream and cry and throw fits because he couldn’t be with him. Some tournaments I couldn’t even sit at the games that Jake was coaching at because JJ would get so out of hand that I couldn’t get him to stop crying. It was SO EMBARRASSING! Thank goodness we are over that now! In fact, JJ gets to sit on the bench with Jake while he coaches now!
It was funny because the other day I was sitting at a game on the bleachers with some of the other parents who didn’t know I was Jake’s wife. JJ was sitting with Jake on the bench and I heard them say, ‘That kid is not normal! Look at how he just sits there! He is so well-behaved.’ I smiled and thought, oh if you only knew how it used to be!
Each of the Sullivan’s have their favorites about traveling each weekend:
Jake’s favorite is the high of getting to coach game after game after game and to ‘prove wrong the doubters’. :)
My favorite is getting a vacation from housework and cooking! I also love the bonding for our family and getting to spend LOTS of time together. It’s also fun to watch as new families in the program get to experience the tournaments for the first time. I can’t even imagine what the little 3rd grade boys are thinking as they step into a facility with 10 courts, a Nike store, a McDonald’s and Subway, and people from every walk of life coming together to play the game they love.
JJ has learned fairly quickly about what traveling to these tournaments means in his exciting 2 ½ year old life. All week long I’ve been hearing him say, “Wa-wee! (as he throws his left fist in the air) Garden! (as he throws his right fist in the air) HEY! (both fists pump in the air)” To translate he is saying he is excited to go swimming and go to the Olive Garden!
Cheers to the beginning of the madness!