SAL-VA-TION: by grace

E-LEV-EN: children from 1984 to 2006

HOME-SCHOOL-ING: since 1990

DOWN-SYN-DROME: susie and gabe

GRAND-CHILD-REN: since 2010

FAITH-FUL-NESS: my steadfast rock, my biggest supporter, my leader, my friend, my love, my husband

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

'Tis the Basketball Season

Two days ago I made a "to do" list. There were 13 items on the list. As of last night I only had two things "ta-done". But, this is not just the Christmas season, and birthday season (we have three this month), and the holiday season, and the wedding season. It's also the go-sledding-in-the-new-snow season, and the little-ones-feeling-cooped-up-in-the-house season, and basketball season.

So, on Monday we did all of our daily things and then I got two things checked off my list. Then came Tuesday. The home-crew and I make lunch for the AirPro employees once a month and this was the day. We were out of the house by 11:30. I made the lasagna and cheescakes, Owen made the iced tea, Bryce cut up vegetables, Lisa decorated the cheesecakes with Christmas sprinkles, everyone helped occupy Gabe and load up the van and we even left a clean kitchen behind. I remembered my camera, but didn't think of using it until all that was left was crumbs.

Bryce and Owen had their first basketball game at 1:00 and Owen, after about 8 years of anticipation, was excited beyond belief. I missed the first part of the game while I cleaned up the lunch and arrived to see the boys giving it their all on the court.

I knew most of the mothers on the "opposing team" and the first thing they asked me when I arrived was, "Your boys have played before haven't they?"

I had to admit, they were almost born playing. Contrary to what some may think, though, they are not forced to throw balls at baskets, or anything. They choose it. No one made Gabe head to an empty hoop while the big boys played. He was drawn to it like a magnet.

Lisa was not.

The two teams were made up of homeschoolers in the area and most of them knew each other. The game was friendly and the fans cheered for both teams. The only argument I heard of was one between two players trying to take the blame for knocking the ball out of bounds. "It's your ball, I hit it out." "No, I hit it, it's yours." It was the kind of 'fight' a referee loves to have to break up.

I love to watch people watch Gabe play basketball. No one expects him to make his shots. They inevitably think his first swish was an accident and they praise him for his good luck. Then he swishes another, and another, and the looks of obligatory congratulations and childish encouragement are replaced by a surprised respect. The boy can aim.

The game and subsequent mingling of players for a game of "lightning" ended at 3:00. We headed to the library for a program at 3:15 and Gabe and I squeezed in an hour at home to get supper made. After picking up the library group, dropping off some nephews, and taking Shane to the gym, we got home with ten minutes to eat supper and get to Shane's game.

Shane is one of four freshman who moved up to play on the JV team. I was willing to bribe the coach to move him up so he would have the same schedule as Troy. I kept my oar out of it (a favorite phrase of Matthew's in the "Anne of Green Gables" book I'm reading with Lisa) and prayed. God and the coach (who considered the scheduling nightmare) were merciful.

The JV team won their game so they are now undefeated. I'm a terrible "team parent". I don't remember the scores. I hardly remember who won and lost. I'm there to watch my child and I have to concentrate pretty hard to care much about too many more details.

Over the years we've noticed that teenagers and young adults can learn a lot about life and teamwork and authority through sports. They learn to work together and do what's best for the team. They learn the necessity of following orders and deferring to a higher power. These are things they are also taught and are lived out in our home and reiterated by our pastor. But, somehow, for the boys, the sports teams really drives it home and they "get it".

It has become a useful tool for us in some ways. When we say,
"I need you to get up an hour early and shovel the driveway before you head to school,"
and they say,
"But I need my sleep and I have homework and I have a test and, and, and,"
we can say,
"You don't seem to have any trouble getting up even earlier when your coach schedules an early practice or asks you to come in to lift weights."
When they insist that clean jeans and a tucked in t-shirt qualifies for "dressed up" we remind them of the sports team game day dress code (about which the coaches hear little or no complaining).

Those coaches make our job a little easier by giving us constant examples and analogy material. It's hard to argue with the question, "Who should command more respect and obedience, your parent or your coach?"

Troy's team did not win last night (against the orange team, the black was from last week). The other team had two players who were 6'8" and 7'0". Notice how Troy's head is even with #23 who is further away and crouching.

The team did well to come within 10 and looks forward to challenging them again.

At one point near the end of the game Lisa pouted and said, "This isn't any fun, we're not winning." I see I have another child who will be growing up to learn that the fun is in the playing, not the score. Some people have a much harder time with that and God seems to give them so much more opportunity to practice losing because of it! I had one child (about the age of 11) who began to react so adversely to being told "No" that I vowed I would deny all requests until the reaction was one of sweet acceptance. I stuck to it and the lesson was well-learned. Children need to learn to display the proper behavior even when they don't feel it. Of course, it's best to feel it, but it's amazing how often feeling follows behavior.

So, my day was wonderfully "wasted" yesterday. I arrived home at 9:30, dressed Gabe for bed, read a book with Lisa, down-loaded and edited photos, and put my "to do" list aside for another time. I love this season of life!

1 comment:

Keelie said...

your schedule stresses me out just reading about it! I wish I were a more laid back and go-with-the-flow kind of person. But I'm not sure it will ever happen.:/