In the summer, I often times enjoy going on a run, in the neighborhood behind our house, while the kids ride their bikes a little ways in front of me.
Once they get bored waiting for me, I let them go on ahead to the GAZEEBO, that is in the middle of the housing edition, and in the middle of a large circular grassy area, with lots of sidewalks. I just tell them I'll meet them there. From there, I usually send them to the school playground, which is around the corner, while I finish off my jog, and tell them I'll meet them there. It allows all of us to be happy this way. I get a workout….they get a bike ride…and the playground.
Usually, once I meet them at the school, I'm ready to go. But usually, I go ALOT further. Since its been too hot and humid, and I have been a little LAX on my regime this summer, I didn't make it near as far, and they didnt get very far ahead. So I thought to myself that this was perfect! I would play with them, to get the extra calorie burn that I lacked in my run…. And they would be able to play longer, hopefully chilling them out a little, for the afternoon.
I decided to play basketball with my son, while the other three played on the playground. I often times feel bad for him, because he is very much a BOY boy, and he doesn't have that constant MALE role model, that he could really benefit from. However, it is what it is, and I do try to play his “boy sports” now and again, to entertain him. I'm not exactly good at basketball, but I played in high school, so I can play the role in a pinch.
He was enjoying the attention, and I was enjoying the exercise…. and watching him smile….he was happy for a minute! But about 20 minutes later I heard him say “uh oh”! I'm still not entirely sure why he said those words, but when I turned to look, I saw 4 teenage boys heading to the court. There were four baskets, so it wasn't an issue of room!
We continued to play, but his attention kept going to the boys, and I could tell he was only playing now just to spare my feelings. I understood that he was longing to play with them, but I knew he was still to young for them to ask him. Plus, he still can't make a free throw, and I had just been teaching him how, only moments ago.
I felt a little sad…..witnessing my child wish he was playing with other people, instead of his own mama. He's growing up so fast. But we played on, as he was trying even harder, hoping the boys were seeing how good he was.
I wondered how I could have helped this problem. First of all… I could probably dress more neutral. However, I love pink. I had a pink hat on, with pink shorts, and my tennis shoes had the hot pink Nike swoosh, and then to draw more attention, I had on a bright green wife beater! Poor boy…..I probably wasn't looking the part of a respectable basketball partner, especially if he was trying to impress his older peers!
The only other thing I thought to do was to ask the teenage boys if we could join and get a little three on three going….shirts against skins? Thankfully I was smart enough to realize that this was most likely a poor choice:)! If I had done it though….. I think I would have risked never being able to play with him….even in a pinch!!