Nicole Davies

Hello! My name is Nicole and I am a Marine spouse and mother of three daughters, ages 16, 10, and 7. I have been a stay-at-home mom most of their lives while also pursuing my Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. In the past I have worked as a social worker for child welfare in the state of Pennsylvania. I have also taught preschool for ages 2.5 - 4. During my master’s program I interned as a therapist at an inpatient psychiatric hospital working with adults, teens, and kids. My ultimate goal is to become an independently licensed therapist. Our family has lived in Onslow County for 10 of the last 15 years, which has given my children a stability that is rare among military families. While NC has been my home for several years now, I am still a Yankee at heart! I will always choose a Philly cheesesteak over a pulled-pork sandwich. In addition to taking care of my family and my educational pursuits, I enjoy traveling to destinations near and far; a novel in which I can get lost; and chatting with friends over a good cup of coffee.

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Senior Night

Friday’s football game we celebrated Senior Night. It’s a very special night where all the senior kids in fall sports programs (and their parents) are recognized and walk together across the football field. I love to see those kids walk across the field with their parents every year. It’s a turning point for them, marking their last year as a high school athlete. But for me, it means so much more.

Watching those seniors walk across the field with their parents, I see the years and years of support those parents have given their athletes. Any of us whose kids participate in school sports know that walk is the culmination of years of making sure kids get to practice; of making sure kids have what they need for the game; of running back up to the school to take a bottle of water or tennis shoes or whatever it is that has been forgotten; of counseling that child to do what is asked by the coach or to find a respectful way to challenge what is asked; of finding some way to manage the expense of playing the sport; of finding time to sit in the bleachers when there is so much else that needs to be done. That walk across the football field is representative of so much love, pride, and dedication to our teens.

But Senior Night is not just looking back. Watching those seniors walk across the field at the football game, I’m always struck by the excitement for the future I see in those faces of the high school seniors. This night is about recognizing what’s already happened, but who can help but be struck by what’s ahead for these kids?! They may never play on a college team, but at every one of these senior events I see young people who are heading out to take on the world. It’s good for my old, cynical mind to see their optimism and idealism.

In the past, our senior cheerleaders had their senior night at the football game. I think they’re going to walk across the gym floor this year, at a basketball game, instead. But we’ll be celebrating them anyway, with a post-game party like we have done in the past. Our team will gather at someone’s home to let our senior girls know we’re proud of them and excited for what comes next. We’ll shower them with small gifts and talk to them about what they plan to do next fall. And we’ll eat cake, of course!

As we celebrate our seniors, we’re celebrating the juniors, sophomores, and freshmen that they were along the way. So it’s a time to embrace all our student athletes and the commitment it takes to stick with a sport or sports for four years. Way to go, seniors. We’re proud of you!

Have you hugged a senior today?

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