Watching your kids play sports is way more fun than watching the professionals, I don't care what anybody says.
Alright, does it get a little bit old in July when it's our 4th baseball game that week and it's 9 o'clock at night and we're still sitting in folding chairs and it's still 95 DEGREES out and the BILLIONTH kid gets ball 4… again? Yeah, maybe a little. I still hope they sign up next year, though, because it's worth it. And this year I am loving watching the girls play on the same basketball team at school.
When they do well it's absolutely exhilarating, and when they make a mistake it's endearing (and usually pretty hilarious). Dear and Slim are polar opposites on the court. Dear does things like tap her opponent on the shoulder and say, "Excuse me but you're supposed to stand behind me so my friend can throw me the ball." Seriously, it was adorable.
Slim is extremely aggressive. She's athletic, talented, and fearless- her coaches always think she's awesome. She prides herself on her strength and tenacity. I love that about her, but we are working on finesse. She gets hurt so often- almost every day at recess or P.E. I'm trying to teach her to have some regard for personal safety, even if she's never exactly careful.
Their game last Thursday was INTENSE. The two teams were pretty evenly matched, and the score was really close the whole game. The girls were fouling, a lot. They're only in the 5th and 6th grade, but Slim's not the only player who is aggressive. At one point, in the third quarter, they were running down the court at full speed vying for the ball. Slim and the girl with the ball got tangled up with each other and fell right in the middle of the court. The ball shot out of bounds and the ref blew the whistle and the girls stood up. As they were getting up the girl blatantly elbowed Slim in the gut- she was a little too far away and didn't get her very good, but the intent was clear.
What happened next was amazing.
Slim just walked away. SHE DIDN'T HIT HER BACK! She didn't even yell at her! Or sulk or complain at all! She just kept playing the game. I was so proud- so impressed!
In hindsight I've wondered if I should have said something to the coach or the ref, who had obviously missed it. At the time, all I could think of was how happy I was that Slim had let it roll off her back like that. There was a time in her life when she never would have done that. She's worked really hard over the last few years on resisting the urge to lash out physically when she's upset, and finding other ways to resolve difficult situations.
In the last minute and a half of the game the other team made a basket and beat us 9 to 8. It was pretty disappointing after how hard the girls had tried and how exciting the game had been, but really that's not what's important. We were just thrilled that Slim didn't turn around and clock that girl in the middle of the court, and we cheered her on for it the whole ride home. She's come so far!
Of course, the following morning she did smack and allegedly bite her sister before school. Baby steps, I guess. Baby steps.