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.
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.
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.
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.
And then suddenly, out of the corner of my eye….
….I saw the coach walk over to the bench and motion to 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.
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. 🙂