vow renewal 6

They are growing up so quickly….these four, incredible little people who live at the farmhouse.

Once they were tiny and running around wearing princess crowns and dinosaur hats.

And then I blinked.

Never was that blinking more apparent than this week.  You see….I’m working on a top-secret project that involves stories.  I can’t talk about it and my fingers and all ten toes are crossed and as soon as I can say….you will be the first to know.

But for now, it’s just me and my stories.

And here’s one of my favorites with a little bit of embellishment….again.

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The other day I sat in a stinky gym on hard wooden bleachers with the roar of the cheering crowd bouncing off the shiny gym floor….

….and watched a basketball game.

And as the game swirled around me, I looked over to the bench where my son sat patiently waiting for a chance to play.

We had been here so many times before.

So many, many times.

Game after game he sat on that bench and waited, hoping against all home that this would be the day that his turn would come.

And I sat and watched him wait.

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This game he sat expectantly on the bench again.

Eyes alert and staring at the court.

Hands clenched and folded.

His left foot twitching as if it was already in the game leaping for the ball and he watched silently as player after player went into the game….

…and back out again.

And still he sat.

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The first quarter finished.

Then the second.

And the third quarter sped by as he sat there patiently on the bench waiting his turn.

My heart ached for him as he sat there so still and silent with his head proudly held high and watched his teammates play.

I wanted to run down to the sideline and jump up and down and tell the coach how amazing my son was.

How hard he had practiced.

How much he had worked.

I wanted the coach to know that he had spent hours and hours and hours practicing on the black top at our house….shooting basket after basket.

And running and leaping and jumping….and hoping….

….that one day his chance would come.

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And then suddenly, out of the corner of my eye….

….I saw the coach walk over to the bench and motion to my son.

My son.

I sat motionless, almost afraid to breathe, as I watched him run onto the floor.

I was torn between standing up and screaming and cheering and yelling and stomping on the bleachers like a banshee…..

….and trying to act cool calm and collected like this was something that happened every day.

The cheering won out.

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I watched as he dribbled and passed and then passed again….and dribbled some more.

Up and down the court….back and forth….

…..again and again.

He dribbled once more and then slowly lifted his hands and tossed the ball in the air toward the basket.

Time stood still.

For just a moment the ball hung suspended in the air….

….and then swooshed through the net.

The crowd went wild.

I yelled and jumped and waved my hands and cheered until I couldn’t cheer anymore.

And then something happened that I will never forget.  Something that I will tuck away into the recesses of my heart for eternity.  As the team parted, my son paused for a moment and scanned the crowd.

I waved frantically from the stands as his eyes met mine….

….and a smile of victory slowly lit up his entire face.

And right there in the center of a middle school gym surrounded by wooden bleachers filled with a cheering crowd….a basketball player grew two feet taller….

….and I saw the true smile of a champion. 🙂

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  1. Image for Lesley Lesley

    Karianne, Boy do I love your stories ! I could've written this one myself... It wouldn't have been as good but we went through the same thing this year! Watchingy son sit on the bench game after game until finally he got his moment! And the best part of all is just like you said ... They wanted us there... They looked for us in the stands ... That is a moment in time that I would not trade for anything .., that is LOVE

  2. Image for Candie Candie

    I love this Karianne! I used to live in Indiana so I know what basketball fever is all about. You have a beautiful family.

  3. Image for Marianne Marianne

    What a great story! I can just imagine how you must have felt that day knowing your son was given the chance to prove himself . We have all been there at one time or another. You have a beautiful family!

  4. Image for Marian@CMShawStudios Marian@CMShawStudios

    Love. This. Story. And the pics where your kids are playing chicken. I need to take some of those. And I have my fingers crossed and prayers said for your other project as well. Happy spring break. The Other Marian

  5. Image for Cindy Brown Cindy Brown

    Oh, how I love your stories! I get to work, turn on my computer, and anticipate finding your blog and starting my day off with a smile (or tear!). My granddaughter just made junior varsity basketball and I have been going to her games which is part pleasure and part pain because you want them to do so well for their self-esteem and being such new players, they fumble and stumble! One thing is for sure--your son couldn't have a better cheerleader on his team than his Mom! Cindy

  6. Image for Trudi Trudi

    What a sweet story. I too have four kids. Three of those pieces of my heart have left the nest in the last six months. One to college, one to marriage, and one to New York (in the dead of winter, no less....from FLORIDA!) It's been an interesting adjustment for me. I'm thankful for the many memories such as these that I have tucked away to whip out and savor when I miss these faces around my dinner table. Best thing I ever did was keep a journal. Things you think you'll never forget, you do. To this day, the kids love when I read these memories making them fresh with new laughter. Never gets old.

  7. Image for MaryS MaryS

    What a beautiful and heartfelt story that only a Mom could tell. Great job. And kudos to your growing young man!! Stay proud.

  8. Image for Sharon H Sharon H

    Miz karianne....if you see a typo here it's because I'm having difficulty seeing what I'm doing! I was literally leaning forward, anticipating the outcome! And I have an idea what your secret project might include.....;))

  9. Image for Mary Mary

    Marianne, you truely have a Gift! Love, Love your Beautiful way of telling stories:) As a mom, they touch my Heart! Thank you! Mary

  10. Image for Terri Terri

    okay............... I have got to remind myself that I cannot read your posts without a "hanky" handy!!! Tears of joy.... just burst out!!! ahhhhhhhh.... a Mama and her son...... absolutely the smile of a champion!!!!!!

  11. Image for Sheila Moore Sheila Moore

    OMG......the tears are flowing. WHat a great story teller and experience for you and your son! Memories are what life is all about!

  12. Image for Theresa Theresa

    With three sons now all raised, I've been in your shoes many times....and that's why your story gave me goosebumps and a bit of a lump in my throat. It really is the little things that are the big things.

  13. Image for Sandy Sandy

    Ok, my eyes teared up as I reminisced the sports days of my two sons while I read your post this morning. We mothers wear our hearts on our sleeves as we cheer, as we wipe tears, as we give heartfelt hugs. Now my heart is giving it a second round with grandsons and their sport activities.

  14. Image for Toni Toni

    What a beautiful story....that reflects where I have been to. My heart goes out to those young people who, when they are where your son was on that basketball court, scan the crowd, and no one is there to cheer them on. Your son is blessed to have parents who are there! God bless you!

  15. Image for Claudia Claudia

    Girl you know I love a good story . This takes me back to sitting in our local Jr High school gym watching my daughter run up and down the old wood floor. Her face so red, so intent on watching the other players every move, waiting her turn with the ball. With one exception, every time she would pass me sitting there on those butt numbing benches she would wave at me. LOL Needless to say our time spent in basketball was only one season.

  16. Image for bj bj

    Such a great story..you are a good writer....I have twin 17 yr old girls that play and they are very good. Their team almost went to State this year.....maybe next year.

  17. Image for Laura Laura

    I am so happy for your boy....he got his chance on the court! Nothing beats the feeling that your child is happy! I hope this is the beginning of "his turn" many more times!

  18. Image for Mercy Mercy

    Karianne-- You have a beautiful family and such wonderful stories! I wish I lived down the road so I could drop by for coffee or tea and listen to all of them! Enjoy them, cuz they grow up WAY too fast! Mercy

  19. Image for Marisa Franca @ All Our Way Marisa Franca @ All Our Way

    I am such a sucker for your stories -- excuse me while I wipe the happy tears from my eyes. I felt as I was there with you -- it was my son doing the same thing. The grin that was splitting my cheeks was painful. I don't think I could smile any broader. My kids grew up too fast. I can't go through pictures without tearing up. Boy, I'm a sucker for families and happy endings. Okay -- I'm not a patient person but I'll try not to pester you and whine and all the other things I do to try to wheedle your news out of you. But it'll be hard!!!!! Big hugs to you.

  20. Image for Lori Barber Lori Barber

    I'm 44 and I still remember looking up into the football stands trying to find my parents as I got ready to dance for the halftime show. They were always there just like you. I cherish those memories and so will your son.

  21. Image for Sue B. Sue B.

    Oh, Karianne I have tears in my eyes reading this post because I have three (grown, married with children) children who all played sports through middle, high school and even college and I know as a mother how much time and effort goes into each sport that they are part of as a team. My oldest grandson, a seventh grader played basketball and of course, he didn't get as much playing time as I felt he deserved; but his positive attitude for the other team players said volumes of what kind of young man his is becoming. Sounds as if you and your husband are raising your children who should be looked upon as role models in every good way.

  22. Image for Peg Peg

    Lump in my throat here... The days are long, but the years are fast. I would go back and do it all over again in a heartbeat! : )

  23. Image for Judi Judi

    Precious story, wonderful memory! I have many of the same type of memories! One in particular when my son was the last wrestler of a dual meet and it was up to him, if he won his match his team would win! The opposing team was yelling their support and our side sat in relative silence, as my son paced around the mat warming up and preparing for his match I started stamping my feet on the wooden bleachers, clapping my hands and chanting "Dillard! Dillard! Dillard!" It worked, the crowd joined in and he pinned his opponent! What a wonderful memory! Thank you for letting me share it with you.

  24. Image for Marijean Marijean

    I have been there also, many years ago. Nothing, Nothing instills pride in us like our children. There is no comparison. Lovely story. So happy your son got to play.

  25. Image for Betty Betty

    This is not just a story.but a moment in time. When I first read this l had to read it to my husband it was so beautiful. The most wonderful thing about this is you not only have that memory locked away for ever, but what is even better is that your son has that special memory as well. I can feel what you are feeling when you write, I feel the heart break, the longing to please put my son in the game, I also get the pride you felt watching an amazing young man have his special moment. I would say go Kentucky, but since my son is a Notre Dame graduate and works and teaches there, I have to say Go Irish and may the best team win. Thank you for the happiness you bring to my day! Betty Hill

  26. Image for Sandra Sandra

    You are such a talented writer, with a penchant for suspense! You could write wonderful mystery/suspense novels, I am sure! Thank you for sharing your thoughts, dreams & amazing talents with us. Your children are beautiful, and resemble you very much. I spent many a day standing in the cold Vancouver rain watching my son play soccer, and beautiful sunny days watching him play baseball, I really miss those days! He is now a wonderful, 28 year old, handsome and kind man who started a charity foundation to raise money for various children's Charities. He surprises me everyday with his willingness to do for others

  27. Image for Teresa Teresa

    We refer to these as "Heaven on Earth Moments." A moment that is so beautiful, so rich, we can't even begin to describe it!

  28. Image for Denise Denise

    Don't you just love it? Even though my daughter goes to a small Christian HS here in NJ with only 70 people , she has been on the bench for the past 2 years for softball and I get so excited when she finally gets to play. The coach actually gave her an award last year at the sports awards banquet for having "the most team spirit" for sticking it out with the team and being a great encourager to the rest of them as they play for His Glory! - I love your blog, in fact its' the only blog I really read! My older 2 are in KY at Asbury University so it was cool to read that your farm is in KY! fyi... one wall has been started with "Mindful Gray" to see how it looks in my Jersey farm house!

  29. Image for susan susan

    Your stories are wonderful! I remember a story much the same when my son hit a home run playing baseball! I recently witnessed that same look on his face as he married his lovely bride! p.s. did you know you have a mini me x2!!! ;)

  30. Image for Erin Kaven Erin Kaven

    Oh you got me on that one. Lump in throat, tear in eye. Doesn't everything mean so much more, hurt more, give us more joy than these moments for our kids!

  31. Image for Linda Linda

    words that express what many a mom has experienced…time in slow mo…baited breath…the woosh of exhale. love those times! seared in my mind.

  32. Image for Jill Brewster Jill Brewster

    Kind of hard to type with the tears in my eyes, but as a Mom I have been there, also as a grandmother. We love our kids and want so to watch them shine as we know they can. Thank you for sharing your story even if it was slightly embellished. It was a winner as your Son is too!

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