Mare had her first basketball practice last night. She didn’t know about it until I picked her up from school because I almost dropped the ball and didn’t get her registered in time I hadn’t told her about it.
Not that it matters at this age, but Mare is on the short side. While she looks like me feature-wise, she seems to have gotten her height from the paternal gene pool. When I see her in a group of girls at soccer practice, I’m stunned that I have created this child who is, well, little. For someone who was never little, in fact often thought of herself as the Jolly Green Giant when hanging out with her friends, I’m secretly thrilled for her. Not feeling like you stand out all the time can be so liberating – I imagine, because lord knows I would not know how that feels. But, I have to say that there were times when my height came in handy – like when I played basketball. I was never great, but modestly good and tall enough that I could block a shot pretty effectively. Back in the day, though, a kid didn’t start basketball until fourth grade. That seems sane. Appropriate. Not so these days.
So, ever since last winter when some of her classmates played basketball, and she didn’t because her mom thought basketball in 1st grade was kind of crazy and Mare had just started taking dance and geeze – I already drive kids around non stop, I just didn’t want one more place to go, she has talked about wanting to play. And talked. And laid the guilt on THICK. So I signed that kid up right away. Well, erm, as soon as the coach contacted me and let me know that while I had missed the official sign up time (I blame my disorganization on the construction chaos at my home right now) they had extended it and there was ONE spot left. I drove the check over ASAP.
She was thrilled when I told her on the way home from school that tonight was the night of her first practice. Ecstatic. We went to my mom’s for dinner and she was too nervous and excited to eat anything but cereal. The french onion soup and salad apparently had the potential to give her a headache because of her nerves. Ditto the slice of impossible pie (gotta love eating at Grandma’s.) Finally 6:40 arrived and we left for the gymnasium. I dropped her off and went back to help my mom clean up ran a bunch of errands and stopped by home to make sure my oldest was reading, which she wasn’t. Got her started on a new book and drove back to the gym and sat to watch the practice. And laughed my butt off. Well, not really because then I would be able to fit in my skinny jeans. But I laughed. A lot.
These second grade girls were brutal! And my daughter might have been the most aggressive. I don’t know what happened, but she wanted that ball. She wanted that basket, really, so badly that sometimes she forgot to dribble after managing to yank the ball from another girl. Mind you, she was lacking, well, skill. But the determination was oozing out of her.
After practice she was talking about all the at home practice she plans to do, per her coach’s instructions. And, you know, I’m looking forward to shooting hoops with the kid.