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Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Writing about Whatever: Basketball, Mamas and Taking Joy

Hey, y'all.

Baseball got cancelled.  Again.  It's raining.  And I have time to write.  Except I don't have anything profound to write about.   So I'm treating it like I treated running yesterday.

See, yesterday, it wasn't raining for a minute or two and it wasn't cold.  So I tied up my shoes and I went for a run outside.  Like in the world - outside.  Where people might have seen me.  It wasn't pretty. It wasn't fast.  I couldn't quite get my rhythm down.   It might have been a little Phoebe-ish:



Also, near the end there was lots of sniffing and sneezing, dripping and itching because DEAR SWEET MOSES, the pollen.

But this is the thing.  Sometimes you just have to do it.  You don't have to wait until you feel like it.  Until your favorite running shorts are clean.  Or you have new shoes. You don't have to wait until you're good at it.  You just have to do it.  And I felt so much better after I did it.

So, that's what I'm thinking about with the writing. This isn't going to be shiny or new or good.  But I have to write . . . whatever. 

So here's some whatever which came out of me watching basketball on tv which I really have no choice about in this house.   

Monday night we watched the NCAA Championship game.  I had been mildly irritated with the complete March Madness takeover of my home.  I had placed basketball firmly on the back burner after my 'Horns lost in the 1st round, but my people didn't exactly move on with me.  All the way through Spring Break, they were still way into it. 

The little one?  COULD.NOT.STOP.TALKING.ABOUT.IT.  College basketball.  Professional basketball.  He's obsessed.   As the lovely and talented Mrs. C. would say, "He's a complete Banana Sandwich about it." 

So it was that I begrudgingly sat down with the boys to watch the championship Monday night.  Everybody in my house picked Duke and after saying 7,000 times that I DID NOT CARE, I picked Wisconsin.  First, I have a friend who lives there.  Second, one of the superhero nurses I've met who cares for kids with cancer is a fan.  Third, a guy named Frank the Tank was apparently on the team.  So for those reasons I picked Wisconsin.  Yawn.  WHAT.EV.ER.

Then.  This guy happened.

image; andrewjkahn.com
The kid was ON FIRE, y'all.  He was getting after it like nobody's business.  He was shooting and drawing fouls and hollering and diving on to the court for loose balls.  He was all kinds of fired up and just giving it every last thing he had.  I mean it.  It was like that kid WAS ALL JACKED UP ON MOUNTAIN DEW, CHIP.

And suddenly, I started paying attention and sitting up straight on the couch and watching close. He got his team back in it.  When that cutie pie Tyus, with the beautiful long eyelashes, hit a 3 from almost half court, I had totally jumped out of the tank for Frank and into the tank for Duke. 

And I kept picturing those boys' mamas.  And my mama heart was turning flips.  It's like when I was at Drew's League Championship game, I tried to keep calm and . . .

(Time out:  Why, yes, Reader.  I did just compare the 4th/5th Grade League Championship to the NCAA Championship.  I sure did.  Who's the Banana Sandwich now?)

Anyway, I always start out a big game like that thinking I will be calm and dignified.  My face will be the epitome of "I am classy and restrained.  I am very much enjoying watching my son and his teammates participate in this pleasant recreational activity."   Later I will clap some and maybe slightly elevate my voice with  a "Nice take, son." or some other positive statement.  Sometimes that happens. 

And sometimes.  SUPERFREAK.

I wonder about Grayson Allen's mom.  Did she start by clapping calmly and maybe standing when the Duke boys got on a roll?  Smiling appreciatively at the people as they congratulated her?  That would be classy.  I would be impressed with that.

But, you know what I hope.  I hope for that moment that she lost her ever lovin' mind.  I hope she jumped up and shouted for joy and raised her hands in the air and hugged people. I hope she yelled "Atta' boy, buddy!" at the top of her lungs and I hope her heart raced and her face flushed and her soul burst full of pride and love for her boy and his team.  Because her boy and his team played with some fierce heart and some fierce focus and some fierce love. 

I've read some articles since Monday that criticize Allen.  They call him a show boater and a bully.  I'm certainly not a fan of "in your face" cockiness and bad sportsmanship and it all might be true, but I hope it's just some internet hating.  And I hope his mama didn't read any of it.  Ain't nobody got time for that.

Because in that moment, on that stage, I loved watching that kid.  I stopped being so pouty about sports being on my darn tv all the flippin' time.  I was the last woman standing to watch the celebration and the interviews after my house full of men went to bed.  I loved those big boys crying and hugging.  I loved the energy and the relief and the JOY. 

And I bet their mamas did, too.  I hope they just grabbed hold of that joy and held on tight.  Because that's what sports have the ability to do.  Sports can give us some joy.  Loud, crazy, delirious joy.  Full, perfect, pure joy. 

And you know what?  God knows, everybody got time for that.

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