I love basketball.
My daughter has a love-hate relationship with the sport. She loves me; hates basketball.
“But you get to hang out with your friends at practice…” I reasoned with her. “Uh, but mom, I don’t like the game” She’s tried. “When I asked you if you wanted to play, you didn’t say no. In fact, you were wishy-washy about the whole thing.” I came back and received a groaned disapproval response; back to me.
Since the boy ran cross country in the fifth grade, I have been devoid of someone to root for from the sidelines. The doll ran (rather walked) cross country while in kindergarten and then declared all other sports to be boring-that is until Volleyball came around two years ago. Then in a move which surprised me completely, she asked if I would sign her up for basketball her sixth grade year. All my previous attempts to sign her up for my sport were met with the same band of resistance: “Mom, my nose is a ball magnet.” While she had a lot to learn and didn’t shatter any records when they played, she did come away with one solid truth. She did not like the sport of basketball in the least.
Regardless her lack of desire, never mind her dislike of the game, I signed her up to play basketball again this year.
Most of the mom’s in the stands will tell you, I enjoy watching the game. I have worked really hard over the past two years, not to yell “GO DOLL!! or “NICE DEFENSE DOLL” or “YOU NEED GLASSES REF!!” so as to not embarrass her. “Hello… my name is not doll!!” She reminds, tho on occasions, “doll” does slip out. One of the mom’s last year asked if I would sit next to her for the remainder of the games, so the refs would throw me out, instead of her–for arguing calls.” Yes!! I love watching the game and cheering the girls on.
During the first game of the season, I was asked to record the game using the coach’s iPad. Unable to lower the volume, the coaches were instead met with my analysis of the game, including a large assortment of snarky comments. As I handed the device back to the coach I instructed, “Please have television on mute, during playback” Which of course he did not do. “You were right, I should have taken a timeout…” the coach said, the next time I saw him. “You weren’t supposed to listen to the snarky comments” I replied embarrassedly. “Are you kidding me..that was the best part”. The coach explained.
A few weeks back the doll made a good play-either got a rebound or put up a good defense and I shouted, “Way to go!!” She turned and shot me a look that had it been loaded with knives, would have eviscerated me. All the mom’s around me laughed and said “Ohhh, Lord, you’re dead!” I couldn’t help but laugh as well; my doll has some great killer looks when she wants them.
Last night I sat inside a chilly gym watching my doll’s team scrimmage another. I was pleasantly surprised to see her put up a shot and make the basket. She also attempted another shot and pulled in a couple of rebounds. For my part, I stayed on my best behavior keeping my mouth shut, engaging in conversation with another parent and pretending not to watch. “You know I’ve noticed in the last few games, your doll is playing with a lot more confidence and making some good plays” The other mother said to me. “Yes her coach texted me the other day and said the same thing. He also told me he’s starting her at their next game”. “Seeing how she’s playing right now, she’s earned that position”. She replied. Just then we both noticed the doll shooting me looks again. “Boy she’s keeping you on your toes, huh?” the other mom noted. I looked back at my doll and replied “Yep.”
The doll was laughing and was giving hi-fives to her teammates. Seemingly liking basketball a little bit more than she ever imagined.