When I first talked about BigBrother playing in our YMCA’s “Itty Bitty” basketball league this year, I was generally impressed with how the program was being handled. This past Saturday was his last game and I am happy to report that we ended the season with the same general feeling.
Some of my favorite things about involving BigBrother in “organized” sports this year.
1. Where we live, winter happens. Because of that, some of our exercising ability (read: way to run off energy) is diminished. While we still have dance parties inside and the tickle monster chases us around, there’s no real opportunity for legitimate, long-stride running. Basketball provided that opportunity.
2. He learned to listen to someone else! Granted, he listens to his teachers at preschool but watching him listen to his coaches was a good experience. He was unsure of why he should listen to those four men at first but, by the end, he really liked his coaches.
3. He made new friends. Only one kid on the team was from his class at preschool. Therefore he met new kids and interacted with them during the games. One older kid took a special liking to him and always made sure he got the ball.
4. He was always so proud. The looks on his face at this last game after his coach held him up to dunk and after he received his trophy were worth all of the initial uncertainty. He was so proud. That, in turn, made me so proud.
There were some negatives, of course.
1. The parents. Unfortunately, if our kids are going to be involved in anything from art to chess club to sports to Boy Scouts to church programs, we’ll have to deal with some over-zealous parents. I know this. But I also know that the one offending parent in question is lucky that I had to miss one game due to my chorale practice and that only my mother-in-law witnessed the negativity. Apparently some over-zealous schmuck was complaining that the three year old teammates “brought the team down.” My mother-in-law replied with “they’re three, they’re learning” and left it at that. I would have given him a polite earful. So, he’s lucky. I know we’ll have to deal with more parents like him who think that they’re child is the next superstar of whatever we’re doing that day. (I’m not blind. BigBrother may have had lots of fun but as of yet does not show remarkable basketball ability. He did learn about the game, however, so I’m pleased.)
2. That game I had to miss due to a mandatory choreography session with my chorale made me feel horrible. I should also probably call my mother and apologize for being so mad at her for missing my Christmas concert during my senior year due to some work issues. I know that either FireDad or I will have to miss games or shows or debates or what-have-you here and there. But it sure did make me feel rather crappy.
3. Next year, LittleBrother won’t likely be so content to stand on the sidelines and watch. He also won’t be old enough to play. I have a slight amount of dread about chasing him around while trying to pay attention to what BigBrother is doing on the court. Yikes.
In the end, the negatives were more about me and less about BigBrother. He never heard the nasty parent. He didn’t care that I missed his game. And he really doesn’t nee dto worry about the parenting issues I may or may not have with having children two years apart. In the end, he got over his initial fear. He had a good time. And if you don’t believe me, listen to this video. (Ignore LittleBrother’s name.)
I’d say that he had a great experience. Even if he does talk with his hands like… me.
We have a month off before t-ball begins. I’m hoping that the program is handled similarly and that whatever coaches he ends up with are as wonderful with young children as his first coaches were. Hopefully he learns how to smile for his sports pictures before then…
I mean, sure, FireDad is not smiling in any of his sports pictures. But still. Of course, to me, this is the best basketball picture ever. (To boot, we were only charged $10 and given a CD with pictures so we could print at will. YMCA wins again.) What a great first experience all around!