Friday, May 8, 2009
Sam is 18 months old now and has a new passion - basketball. I shouldn't be surprised because
all the boys are a bit sports crazy (some recessive gene, apparently, since Paul and I are completely non-athletic and I'm not even all that crazy about watching sports, either!). No doubt this was fueled in part by Will's enthusiasm for the sport. Every warmish day we have had this winter and spring has found Will out on the driveway shooting baskets and trying to entice David to play with him. David is usually a non-willing participant. Will generally has to bribe him by offering to help him with his chores in exchange for one game of basketball. And it seems like every time those two play, either a fight will break out about how many more minutes David actually has to play or David will run into the house complaining about some injury willfully inflicted (he's sure) by his brother! So a lot of days Will just plays alone.
But over the past month or so Sam has become very interested in the game. He loves to pick up the basketball, which is bigger than his head, and try to shoot baskets. As soon as I noticed his interest I reassembled a kid-sized basketball hoop and stand we had from when the other boys were little. But Sam isn't all that interested in that. He wants to use the real hoop! I also bought him a kid-sized orange ball (it's actually a soccer ball, but Walmart didn't have any mini-basketballs) but he'd rather lug around the real ball.
The other night while Ben and David played their softball game, I could not get Sam to stay near our area on the field. He was insisting on heading towards a concrete area. I kept pulling him back and he kept taking off again. He was carrying his tennis ball and it finally dawned on me that there were basketball hoops on the concrete - it was a court - and that's what Sam wanted! So I indulged him and followed him over (it was either that or wrestle a tiger because Sam was not going to stay with me! It was so cute. He got to the court and with his little tennis ball he crouched as if he were attempting to shoot a basket and then he'd let his ball fly. But these were regulation hoops and Sam soon got very disgusted that he wasn't making any baskets. So he asked me, by motioning, to lift him up. I did, but I'm not exactly Amazon sized, and Sam was frustrated that he still couldn't make a basket. This went on for a good 20 minutes until I finally got him to admit defeat and head back to the ballgame.
But do you want to know a silly thought that went through my mind as I watched Sam's dedication that night? Earlier that same day I had taken him in for his 18 month check up and he weighed in at 28 lbs and measured 35 inches tall. The dr said this will no doubt be his pattern for the rest of his growing years which means he'll be tall and thin. I don't know why that makes me feel so proud, but it does! I had nothing to do with his size, other than contributing half of his genetic make-up, but even then I couldn't exactly control which genes I gave him. Would I be less pleased if the dr said, "Well, he's as average as can be!" or "You got a short one here!" Probably. It's just silly. But anyway, having that in the back of my mind and then watching his absolute dedication to the game made me start wondering if maybe Sam is the next white Michael Jordan! If I get him in high school basketball and the right recruiter is there (because of course, Sam will still be just as crazy about basketball in 16 years as he is now, and it goes without saying that he would be the star of his team) he could eventually make it to the NBA! And then I imagined myself giving an interview and saying, "Well, he showed an unusual interest in the sport even as a toddler!" Could happen. After all, Tiger Wood's dad had him out on the golf course by his first birthday! Maybe I should have given Sam a more distinctive name, like "Blaze" or "Wind"...
Well, whatever happens, it's a pretty sure bet that I'll be sitting through a whole lot more sporting events, watching my kids play. It sure doesn't seem like Sam is going to be the sensitive, quiet, musical, artistic type who doesn't need his mother to cart him all over the universe going from practice to practice to game to game. It's all right. I think I'd rather watch a ballgame than sit through a piano recital, anyway!