My son is 7 years old. He is a smart kid...impressively smart. He is in piano lessons. He has played for a bit over a year. He is not bad. My son is in Junior Bible Quiz. He is GOOD. It is amazing to see what this little guy remembers. My boy has some of the nicest handwriting for a second grade boy. My child does his homework quickly and correctly. My oldest makes good grades. He is in Royal Rangers, which is like boy scouts, and has so many patches, his vest is almost full. On top of that, he is a good big brother and an all-round great kid. I love my boy. I'm proud of my boy.
Now let's talk about organized sports. For the past two years, this same child played soccer. He is not much for being yelled (read screamed ) at from a sideline....like last year's coach did. It took him awhile to learn what he was really supposed to be doing. He is a perfectionist...which I am learning is both good and bad. It is good because this child will be a darn good leader when he grows up...if we can train him properly. It is bad because he gets painfully embarrassed when he does not succeed. My child has trouble with sports.
The trouble comes because for one thing, he does want and expect to do everything right the first time. Another problem is that he is all limbs and feet right now. His body hasn't caught up with his legs...so he flails around a bit. An even bigger problem is that one of his younger brothers, my 2nd son, has a natural sportsman's talent. Things come easier for him. I watch my first-born and I want him to succeed, just like any mother wants her child to succeed. When I say it is painful to watch, I mean that with all the love that fills my heart and causes it to swell with pride. I ache for his need, and my desire, for him to be good at what he does.
So this year, he played basketball. We have had about eight games. There are ten children on the team, so my son plays for two quarters, or 16 minutes per game. We go to practice once a week. He is really good at passing the ball. He doesn't jump in an intercept any pass, because the ball wasn't meant for him. (He is pretty legalistic.) He doesn't rebound often, because he's not aggressive. He doesn't run and dribble like an NBA star because....well, he's not. He has only shot a few times...and one of those times was at the wrong goal. *sigh* I love my son. I'm proud of my son. I want him...I NEED him to feel successful and proud of himself.
So yesterday was the last game. It is a long 32 minutes of 6 and 7 year olds bouncing the ball and missing baskets. My son played in the second quarter and the fourth quarter. In the second quarter, a child on the opposite team lost the ball. My son picked it up. Normally, he freezes and then passes it. (I told you...he's a good passer...he knows it and has capitalized on his talent.) As soon as he stopped, all hunched over, protecting the ball, I hollered in my half-teacher/half-mom voice (pretty loud.) "RUN!" "RUN!"
He ran toward the basket (the right one, I must add) and stopped to pass the ball. In the same voice that I used just seconds before (and using as much support that my diaphragm could muster) I yell, "SHOOT"!"
For what seemed like minutes, the ball just hung there. I said the quickest prayer I could utter in only two words, "PLEASE, GOD!"
I had tears of delight; tears of unadulterated joy. My son, whom I would give my life for, the one that I protect physically and emotionally, made his first points EVER in a game. Not only that, but he made another basket in the fourth quarter.
We lost every game this season. I don't care. My boy made two baskets in his last basketball game. He is so awesome. The smile on his face; the tears in my eyes; THAT, my friend, is priceless.