When the matriarch’s a tennis coach

If you want to know what it’s like to be raised by a high school tennis coach, just witness our most recent family get together.

Like many of our little social gatherings, it involved a painstakingly debated draw with some trash talking pairings. Some teams showed up with a walk up song, others wore matching T-shirts.

Our 84-year old host served up pizza, a charming pink cake and a big can of whoop-ass.

Though we played ping pong, the whole extravaganza brought back fond memories of our childhood when we lived across the street from a public tennis court.

On Sunday mornings, we’d return home from church and someone (our mom) would yell “the courts are open!” as we pulled in the driveway.

Then someone (usually my sister Kathy or me) would have to run over there and save the court while everyone else changed into their tennis togs and hustled over to play.

My mom can’t convince her family to join her on the tennis courts anymore, so she has settled for ping pong.

And by settled I mean she has her own racquet and final say on the draw. She didn’t actually list seedings, but she did give some of the stronger teams, like hers, a first round bye.

She doesn’t mess around.

You’d think some of our newer family members might be intimidated by all this competition but, no. They jump right in.

In fact, our daughter in-law Danni and our nephew Michael, who kindly helps his grandma set up the draw for each of these little parties/competitive tournaments, defended their title in a very strong field.

My team had to withdraw this year due to my partner feeling ill. But, we’ll be back, baby.

We start training tomorrow.

Grandma Peggy likes to partner up with her grandson Vinnie. As you can see, he’s an amiable if somewhat terrified partner. She doesn’t mess around.
She has her own racquet. So do several other players.
It’s a fun little gathering.
And a serious tournament.
There’s the thrill of victory.
The human drama of athletic competition.
Some teams brought their A games.
Others wore matching T-shirts.
Some teams had a walk up song.
Michael handled the 10- team draw…
…held the baby….
And, with his partner Danni, won the whole thing.
Baby Margo watched from the sidelines this time. Pretty sure there’s a tiny racquet in her future.

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