Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Upward Basketball

With our first batch of kids, I was more inclined to expose our children to countless sports, activities in the effort to make sure they were well rounded. This resulted in the many afternoon practices, games, mainly in the cool and wet Northwest. There is a reason the state of Washington is green. Our girls tried at least one season of every sport including Lacrosse, Softball, Soccer, Basketball, Volleyball, to name a few. Don't get me wrong, we have great memories of those times and we made great friends watching those games.

This go round however, I am much more relaxed in the area of extra curricular sports, not feeling the need for all that exposure. Our last child in particular had never participated in a team sport. In a moment of weakness, I asked her if she wanted to play Upward Basketball this winter. She enthusiastically responded that yes, she would love to play. Her personality is not the most competitive and this was fairly evident when she started turning cartwheels at her evaluation which is not the most coveted basketball skill. This was going to be a long season. As expected, she was fairly intimidated by the roughness of the game the first couple of games, especially since she is on the small size compared to the other players. I don't think she touched the basketball for the first 4 or 5 games and would always get the good sportsmanship award for not fouling! I've come to learn that fouling is a good thing in basketball. Despite this, she always had a great attitude as she went to practice week after week as well as the games.

This past week, as I was watching my optimistic daughter play, I noticed that she was getting rebounds and looked like she actually knew what she was doing. She was guarding and passing and even dribbling which is not the easiest thing to do when you are being chased by bigger, faster players. All of a sudden she found herself with the ball under the basket, took her shot and made her her first basket! The moment still makes me smile as I think of her happy, proud self running down the court with an extra spring in her step.

She demonstrated just how far a positive attitude will take you. Despite being the smallest player on the team, she kept giving her best effort week after week. Finally it paid off and she made her basket. I hope she remembers this season and the lessons of perseverance and working hard. Her last game of the season is this week. I hope she makes another basket and has a great game. I'm almost sad for the season to end since she is just now getting the hang of the game. Oh well, there's always next year!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Keeping Lucy

The day had finally arrived when I would be keeping Lucy, my seven month old adorable granddaughter, for 2 1/2 fun filled days. I was expecting this to entail lots of work which it did, on not much sleep. Towards the end of her visit, my younger three were begging for mercy as they each took a turn entertaining her while we tried to encourage her to eat her peas and carrots. Not to mention lifting Lucy while in the baby carrier in and out of the car and the buckling of clueless Lucy as to when it would be highly beneficial for her to bend her arms and legs. I do loathe car seats! I was also severely out of practice in regards to the best time to undress her for her bath. It is not before you start running the water while holding her as this prompted her to pee all over me!

However, I was completely unprepared for the memories and emotions that without warning came flooding back to me while I cared for little Lucy. I didn't even mind the 3:00 A.M. feeding. In fact I loved it! It transported me straight back to 1985 and 1988 to the middle of the night feedings with Laura and Kristen, to the quiet precious time just the two of us. If possible feeding Lucy was even more special as I held the child of my child. Gone are the concerns of wondering if I was doing everything right as a young mom and the horrible realization that I could be doing something terribly wrong. According to the book, The First Three Years of Life, those first three years are really important and you had better get them right. Instead, I could simply enjoy Lucy's wonderful sweetness as she slowly relaxed and fell asleep in my arms. I am beginning to realize that my love for Lucy is an extension of the love I have for my daughter Laura who is a precious gift from God and who I love with all of my heart.

When the time came for Lucy to leave, I had the same lump in my throat that I had when Laura left for college. I couldn't believe it! I think it's Gigi love and I have a feeling it's only just begun.

Friday, February 1, 2013


When I think of courage, I think of a soldier going to war. Of course going to war is courageous and I admire all of our men and women who have chosen to serve in the military. But I was recently reminded again of another kind of courage, the courage of my children to accept and love us as their parents.

We recently arranged a visit with one of their older siblings who they had not seen in 6 years. Our younger two didn't really remember him as they were ages barely 3 and 4 years old when they last saw him. We had exchanged pictures, but they had not seen him in person. I was honestly apprehensive about how they would react to seeing him. Would it upset them? Would they want to go with him? This was unknown territory.

They were very excited when we told them that they would be seeing their brother. My children are very outgoing and friendly with everyone so I wasn't surprised when they hit it off immediately. They started out talking about school, sports, silly things, their favorite subject, and proceeded to really enjoy being together, hugging each other a lot, dancing and laughing as they bowled. The time came for us to say good-bye. We all hugged good-bye and then came home. They came home to their family. 

While we have not always been their family, we became their family because they allowed us to be their parents. They left everything they knew to come start a new life with us. They opened their hearts and chose to accept our love and accept us as their family.  They did not have to do this. This has not always been easy on either of our parts, but we are a family. 

Their courage astounds me. It always has. It's supernatural courage that could only come from God.