Saturday, January 9, 2010

Game On

Little Rock has done something most unexpected this week—it's become winter. Some idiot tipped it off that January is supposed to be cold and it's decided to play along. Today, although the sun was dutifully holding up its end of the deal, we just couldn't seem to get on the right side of freezing. And I am not amused. My six-year-old, on the other hand, is having a ball. He's been merrily running around the neighborhood for the past two hours with his open coat flapping in the frigid breeze. He refuses to zip it, though, because then the neighbors couldn't see what's underneath—his new jersey.

Last Christmas, we went to see my nephew tear up the court at his high school basketball game. Alex is the best player on his team and watching him play lit a fire in my son. He came home eat up with the game, wanting to play it whenever and wherever he could . . . including inside our house. Clearly, a change of venue was in order. We got one today.

Upward is sports with a stiff God chaser. It's three parts team spirit and one part Holy Spirit. At least that's the blend we're hoping for. It's not that we're anti-God by any means, we're just not fans of proselytizing. We're even, to be honest, a bit cynical of organized religion. We've already planned our evacuation route the first time they bring a snake on the court or start speaking in tongues. But so far, the message has been positive and benign. The focus is on sportsmanship, fundamental skills and having fun.

They don't even keep score so everyone can be a winner. Although, clearly some kids have a bit more winner in them than others. Take our kid, for instance. From the initial evaluations a few months ago, it was evident that the child has talent. He dipped into his father's DNA and pulled out a heaping helping of grace, coordination and athletic ability. There was no doubt he'd do well when actual games began. So today, when they called his name and he joined the rest of the starting line up, I was proud, but not surprised.

The surprised part came about three minutes later. Turns out, he didn't escape the womb without a dollop of his mother's DNA. This became apparent right around the time he darted off the court, mid-game, to exchange high fives with a classmate he suddenly noticed sitting on the sidelines. And again when he drifted off for long minutes at a time to gaze at the cheerleaders. And certainly when he ran most earnestly into the middle of another game in progress on the next court over, completely oblivious to the fact that none of the players were on his team. It was a good five minutes before we could corral him and return him, at least in body, to his own game.

Okay, so he sucks. But he couldn't be more adorable while he's sucking.

Can I get an Amen?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

from Shirley Donna and Lucia