We just returned home from three days at an annual Homeschool Basketball Tournament in which 3 of our boys were competing. We stayed at a hotel with at least 30 families from our homeschool group and caught as many basketball games as we could. While the adults filled the hotel lobby late at night following the last game of the day, the kids filled (and I do mean filled) the hotel pool for a party of their own. Our athletes ranged in age from 18 down to 8 with quite a few younger siblings in tow. One of my greatest pleasures is watching my older teens and their friends cheering for their little brothers during a game... and vice versa.
The kids had a blast... and I must admit that while the hectic pace of the trip is a bit much for me, I had a pretty good time myself. Until the final game... at which point I experienced a heartbreak unlike any previous sports induced experience of my life.
All of my boys had their share of wins and losses at the tournament, but my middle boy... oh man... his last game was something else. His tournament got off to a rocky start when the head coach and his sons (two of the starters) got stuck in traffic and didn't get to the game until half-time. DH helps coach so he got the boys started and they really rallied to comeback from a 16 point deficit to make it a game in the 2nd quarter... although they ended up losing in the end. And what does my 12 yo say when I tell him I'm sorry he lost? "Why? I had a great game. I scored 21 points Mom and had a blast!"
They fought hard and won their second game the next morning (in spite of looking a little fatigued from a late night of swimming). Then a couple of hours later, they got to play for 3rd place. They were down 13-0 in the first quarter, and came back to keep the score close for the rest of the game.
Then, with the score TIED and 20 seconds left, my son gets put on the free throw line... and sinks both baskets!! I have never seen so much joy on his face and our crowd was going crazy. Then, with 6 tenths of a second left in the game, the ball went out of bounds. The other team passed it in and a boy on their team turned around and, in what was I'm sure the longest second in history, sunk a three-pointer to win the game. And my happy little boy sat on the bench in tears... little trails made their way down his dirty face. And my heart just broke. (To make things worse, we soon found out that a time-keeping error had interferred and the victory shot souldn't have counted... but seriously, it's hard to fault somebody when you're talking about tenths of a second.)
He had poured his heart into every game and was the team's leading point scorer for the tournament. He and his teammates fought so hard and even some of the less skilled players on his team stepped up and played like champs... we were so proud of all of them. Then the head coach, without even talking to my husband about the other players, put his own son's name in for tournament MVP for our team. While my husband and I silently fumed because there were at least 3 other players including our own who should've been considered for the honor... and his preference would've been to let the kids vote as the other teams did, my son said, "I'm happy for him, he's a great player."
Sigh... he did not get that heart attitude from me... but maybe I can learn something from him.
But here is our little champ displaying the results of my basketball season knitting. At about 5 feet, it's now long enough to wrap around me while I knit, so one or two baseball games should get me to the end.