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Missing Leila

Today I am experiencing a sense of melancholy as my month without Leila beginsFor the first time the summer will be broken up by months instead of 2-week blocks. Leila will be attending a goalie school in August and near the end of August the first team practice is scheduled so the accommodation is to support her love of hockey. We let Leila guide the schedule.

 Yesterday we drove to meet Kristy in Blind River through a tornado warning, thankfully we experienced no weather concerns, briefly a period of light rain. What was wonderful about the experience is Leila was exposed to 3 calls from the city to inform about the weather warnings, which created a conversation. She paid attention to the cloud formation, stated her interpretation of the what the formation looked like, then took a photo to capture the vision. We spent some time talking about the weather, what does a tornado do, does a tornado last forever, where do things go when a tornado picks it up. We talked about fears and reassurances. Leila then decided if she could be on the radio she would tell all the people Mother Nature is sending us a message, Mother Nature wants us to take better care of Mother Earth.

I am not a tornado chaser. I am not irresponsible. Kristy was in an out-of-service area, so she was heading to pick Leila up. Not showing up would be inconsiderate. If the need arose to pull over, responsible TiTi would do what was necessary. Mother Nature was on our side. All was good.

Grade 4 has come to an end and Grade 5 is on the horizon. Leila had a stellar year – she grew through disappointment, wonder, excitement, and a sense of belongingness. The R.L. Beattie Family successfully completed their commitment to build character, to build resiliency, to encourage appreciation of self, and to build a future adult who will impact on so many with an understanding of what is significant. Thank you, Beattie for knowing what matters most in the development of young people. Thank you for a fruitful journey this year.

I am so grateful Leila chooses to bring her work home for me to witness her talents. We have an art wall to display work, there are times I am in awe of her artistic expression. Her love of music is melodically played on the piano at home. She produced her first video ad, bloopers and all. One of my favourite pieces was the fairy tale she wrote where she incorporated current events, politics, fairy tale storylines and humour. I carry it in my purse and share with anyone who will listen to my rendition or read it. Even while I write this I chuckle.

This week also saw the 3-on-3 come to a close, which has deeper implications than the end of season. Once again, I will reiterate the win-loss record speaks only to one component of the schedule. Gratefully, the athletes, the coaches, and the parents are wise enough to put it all into context. This group of 9- and 10-year old athletes grasp the concept of what is most important – play your hardest until the buzzer goes; support one another; move into each competition with an optimistic outlook; improve your skill set both individually and as a team; be respectful of each other, coaches and referees; cherish the relationships; and celebrate together. The 3-on-3 season was a way for me to remain connected to the parents who over the past year became a circle of people that strengthen my resolve to be present and involved.

When the 2018-19 Season begins, the closely-knit circle that we embraced during 2017-18 Season will be separated as the 17 players are now on 5 different teams. Once again, a transition begins, and my heart has been around long enough to know this is simply the way of life. We come in and out circles with each circle providing the opportunity to grow. Knowing and feeling are different. Around the next corner will be more people to love, more experiences to enrich my life. Right now, letting go of what was is tugging stronger than the pull for what is to be. Thank you, Sudbury Wolves Atom A for an amazing year.

Enjoy a summer of adventure, rest, relaxation, discovery, balance, and love.


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About The Author

Anna Barsanti is a retired educator who is sharing the experiences of raising her niece.

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