Many months ago, I wrote my first blog entry about my kids, and how they aren’t into sports and activities like other kids their age.
Since then, my son became interested in basketball. He tried out for the U10 rep basketball team here in Orillia. I am not sure who was more excited when he made this team: him or me! Finally, I could fulfill my dream by cheering on my son from the bleachers with other like-minded, crazy moms! And of course, he would learn a new sport and make new friends. That too.
That was five months ago.
In that short five month period, my son has gained important life-long skills, made great friends and got a much needed confidence boost. As for me, I too made new friends that will surely last beyond basketball season.
During the first few games and practices we parents were all a bit shy. We’d watch practices and games in our own little bubble; occasionally glancing with a smile or a quiet, “hi”. Soon, our lone seats became small groups and eventually morphed into a large group semi-circle. We watched all of our boys dribble, shoot, score, miss, fall, cry and cheer. Through them, we bonded.
We not only enjoyed conversation and a few laughs while on the bleachers; we pitched in to help one another. Early in the season one of the coaches, who was also one of the moms, was diagnosed with breast cancer. We grouped together and organized a “fill the freezer party” to help out the family during her many long days of treatments. Someone suggested the boys wear pink shoelaces to the next game in support. The laces stayed on all season long. Mid season, my father in law passed away. My husband called me to tell me of his passing on a Saturday afternoon during the 3rd quarter of a game. A number of parents offered to help by caring for my son after the game so I could be with my husband. We moms saw each other through family illnesses, surgeries and concerning report cards. We all kept an eye on the younger siblings who tagged along to each game and practice and played on the sidelines. We supported one another when our son had a rough game, and we congratulated and high fived each other when he made a great play. Each kid became everyone’s kid.
And yes, we partied in the hotel conference room. We ate pizza, drank booze and took silly pictures. We laughed the next day when the seemingly extra long buzzer at the game made the morning-after headache so much worse.
It was just as I always imagined it would be. In fact, it was better. These ladies are strong, spirited, funny, honest, supportive, patient and humble. And their spouses are pretty awesome too.
As for the boys; they had a blast! And they even won a few games.
The boys learned and improved so much from the dedication of their amazing coaches. And us parents, we loved every minute of watching them grow, succeed, fail and rebound. We loved every minute of getting up early, stopping for coffee, driving to gyms and cheering from the back-breaking bleachers. We loved every minute of going to fast food restaurants and cheap hotels. We loved every minute of spending time with this amazing group of boys, coaches and parents.
We are all sad to see the season come to an end, but in terms of friendships, for the boys and the parents, this is only the beginning.