Love is in the air.

Dear friends,

Tennis season started yesterday for our high school boys. We’re a tennis-loving family, so we couldn’t be more excited to see this important spring milestone arrive.

That's Parker serving and his partner at the net.

Parker made the varsity team. He’s playing in the #4 singles spot and the #2 doubles spot — and fighting hard to move his way up. That kind of competition is good for all the players, as well as our team.

Mr. Mom loves tennis, too, especially now that he’s not coaching. He coached both Parker’s and Kate’s tennis teams in our former town. He enjoyed it, but he’s glad he’s no longer responsible for being a dad and a coach to kids who can’t always make the distinction between the two. He delights in sitting courtside and watching a match unfold with no responsibility for its outcome or his child’s performance.

Kate is serving as the boys’ team manager. (She played the #1 spot on the girls’ team during the ladies’ season, which happens in the fall in our new state.) She’s excited that she could play in the fall and manage in the spring — which includes the opportunity to hit with the boys — to keep her tennis skills sharp between now and when she joins the tennis team at her college. The great news for me is that I get regular text updates and photos because she travels with the team.

One of the things I have most appreciated since our move is the regular opportunity to attend my children’s tennis matches. The long commute I endured in our former home made it all but impossible to see many matches. In our new town, the high school tennis courts are so close to my office I could walk there if I wanted. And I have the scheduling flexibility to slip out of the office and attend many of the matches.

Plus, tennis is a much bigger deal in our new town. It was rare for a parent to attend matches in our former home, but not here. We have a booster group that provides food and beverages to the players and families, so the competitions are a social outing as well as a sporting event. I know this is nothing new for many sports — football and basketball have long enjoyed that kind of parental support at many schools.  But it has been rare in my family’s tennis experience, so I’m savoring every moment with my kids and every opportunity to become a part of our school community.

By the way, Parker won his singles match today 8-0, giving new meaning to the phrase “love is in the air.” He and his partner won their doubles match 8-4. Those two wins helped his team cinch the competition 6-3, which is a great way to kick off the season.

With gratitude {for kids who love tennis as much as I do and who play it far better},

Joan, who is crazy enough about tennis that she 0nce played four matches on a July day where court temperatures exceeded 110 degrees, which she learned is hot enough to melt the polish on pedicured toenails and fuse them to cotton socks