It’s still fairly difficult for me to believe Connor’s in seventh grade. It’s also still somewhat new to see him playing sports where there are scores and wins/losses (gasp!); although he told me that throughout elementary sports, the kids all keep track. How’s that for messing with the whole ‘nobody wins or loses, kids. you all get a ribbon for participating!’ approach?
But the reality is, he’s playing the sports. And he’s having a blast. And I’m learning a lot. One thing I’ve learned is that junior high scoring (in our league) is dumb. Know why? It requires you to think. And I’m not sure about you, but I don’t want to think outside of work hours. Oh, and I’m incredibly old. Because Connor plays on the same court I played on at least eleventy billion years ago because now it’s a middle school and when I was there, we didn’t even have a middle school. Still, ‘Go Vikings!’ But I’ve learned other things, too. Here are a few:
- Junior high boys almost always have their mouths open.
2. The game is quite physical. Some kids forget that football season is over. There are some legit fouls that don’t get called. Some fake fouls do get called. Parents get mad.
3. Camaraderie is real. It’s heart-warming to see the boys interact … they’re silly and sweet and they don’t even know it.
4. These boys are incredibly athletic. Some of them have mad hops. There are some killer blocks and wicked awesome ball-handling skills. And this is just the beginning!
5. Connor has a unique free throw practice he’s developed. It involves raising his hand to line up to the basket, a couple quick dribbles, circling the ball around his body, raising it over his head and then dribbling again. I think, secretly, he just wants to make the game last longer.
7. Some of the boys have a better pony than I do.
8. The boys are incredibly interested in their eighth grade counterparts.
9. You can be both the home team and the away team in the same day in tournament play. So, if you play one game in your white uniform, you can flip that thing inside out and sport blue. It’s basically like wearing your underwear twice so you don’t feel so dirty.
10. The coach cares. A lot. I’ve really enjoyed watching him over the course of the season. He’s engaged and passionate. Just today, for instance, he both held his head in his hands and threw down his clipboard. I loved it.
11. I am so ridiculously proud to be #7’s mom. Connor has come so far in the past couple years as a player. He’s extremely talented, driven, team-focused, (also) passionate and hungry to learn more. Win or lose, I love watching him play. And I tell him so every game. I honestly don’t care the outcome. Well, I mean, I do. Let’s be honest. And I’m quite certain I’ll get booted by a ref at some point, but I’ll make sure it’s worth it. Either way, CJ is my hero on the court and I’m looking forward to not only the last three games of his seventh-grade season, but to several more seasons to come.