Just 2 short long months ago, my daughter Rylie was born. She was due on March 8th but I am pretty sure she heard me tell a couple coaches that "I just don’t want to be pregnant until the 17th because that would just be way too Irish to have Rylie Covey Houlihan born on St. Patrick’s Day”. She was born at 3:17 pm on 3/17 with a rainbow in the sky outside my window (no...that is not a made up story). When Rylie was born, I not only began a new relationship with my daughter but started to think a lot about my relationship with my mom as well.
A little background: my mother, Bonnie Covey Goldberg, played volleyball for American University and Eastern Michigan University. She then became a professional volleyball player for Kussnacht Volleyball Club in Switzerland. Once she came back to the United States, she became the assistant coach for Georgetown University (where she met my Dad) and later at American University. After having me and my 2 younger brothers, she became the Director of Metro American Volleyball Club where I played club volleyball. She is now the Associate Director of American Volleyball Camps and the Tournament Director for the Mizuno Capitol Hill Volleyball Classic.
My mom knows volleyball. Serious statement.
Not only does she know volleyball, but she knows business. Her impact in the sport of volleyball has been tremendous not only in her region but throughout the country.
How do I explain my relationship with my mom before I had Rylie? Well… lets start by saying that I probably wasn’t the easiest kid to parent now that I look back on it. Anyone who knows me understands that I have a reoccurring theme in my life of questioning authority (referees included). I consistently wanted to fight and throughout my life, I fell over and over. One thing remained constant however: my mom was always there and I always wanted to impress her. Even the most stubborn side of me knew that my mother had the answer to whatever problem came up. I've watched the people around her notice it too. All of my teammates and friends were always drawn to her and I never understand why. I had the cool mom and it took me about 25 years to realize it.
"What they do is not about volleyball. It's about helping kids become adults and reaching out to people in need"
So I said I wasn’t the easiest kid to parent. Well I’d say that stage lasted from about 13 years old to about 22 years old. I remember one night at the Goldberg dinner table being especially difficult (most likely generated from myself). My Dad had just gotten off a phone call with a recruit and my mom was dealing with some sort of club thing. They both were filling each other in on what was going on and I screamed “WHY DOES EVERYTHING IN THIS FAMILY HAVE TO BE ABOUT VOLLEYBALL" (*End scene. Exit stage right*). My mom stopped, looked at me, and said “You really have no idea what we do”. She then proceeded to explain to me that what they do is not about volleyball. Its about helping kids become adults and reaching out to people who need help. I was 15 years old and I probably rolled my eyes and ran into my room to get on MySpace. But it stuck with me.
"Compete hard, to care for the people around us, and to love God."
I grew up eventually. I followed in my moms footsteps and now sometimes I hear myself speak and I have the “I am my mother” moment. Throughout my time being a Director for this club, I have been on the phone with my mom every day. She has guided me through difficult decisions and celebrated with me during each victory. I'm not sure where we would all be without her.
My mom raised my brothers and I to compete hard, to care for the people around us, and to love God. She raised us to fight for what we believe in and to win in the right way. She taught us to always support my Dads team when they won and even more when they lost. My mom raised us in a volleyball gym, traveling on the bus with the team, running wild through the athletic department. I wouldn’t change a single thing about my childhood.
Happy Mother’s Day Mom. I love you and I am proud to be your daughter.