A couple of weeks ago Spencer had his first basketball practice of the season. This is year two, so he was MUCH more confident as he walked onto the court.
Last year our guy was only 6 and sure that he could not leave my side. I was the only mom standing at center court with their child wrapped around their legs. The tears had dried up but just barely. Spencer was nervous and unsure of what was really going on and found the number of kids at our Y overwhelming (our class size is pretty small in homeschool land). The coach got us doing some drills and I was finally able to detach and sit on the bleachers with the other parents.
During the first game of that season I realized that our son was the team's space cadet. Literally. The game was lost on him, therefore he invented his own. Spencer's fingers became laser guns as he ran around the court gunning down alien enemies posing as the opposition. My fellow b-ball parents were laughing, no doubt relieved that their kid seemed to be more on top of the situation than my little boy. The next three games went much the same way.
During the 4th game Spencer met a fellow space traveler who was thrilled to join in the laser shooting. The two boys would team up with laser weapons and finger binoculars to circle fellow players. The other kid even incorporated the buzzer into the space game by shrieking madly anytime it went off, which was roughly every 7 minutes. Apparently the space cadets were being tortured by an alien mastermind with the horrible buzzing noise.
The coach was patient and would pick Spencer up while running and physically place him where he needed to be. Unfortunately he told Spencer that was 'his spot' - so my boy did not move from his spot until the coach came back for him.
All of this would have concerned me if this child had been our first - but he is #3 and we knew that we just needed to ride out the awkward stage. If he had been our first I probably would have thought he needed therapy.
Lee and I worked with Spencer on the intricacies of the game. Spencer and his dad practiced dribbling and passing daily. His sisters even stepped in to help a brother out.
The last two games of the fall season the light bulb went off. Spencer dribbled WHILE running, he passed to team mates, he shot, he scored!
The transformation that we are privileged to watch as parents is so amazing and so unique for each child. My chest was full of pride (is that a sin?) as we walked together toward the Y. Spencer held my hand all the way from the car to the gym doors.
Then I opened the doors and my little boy was gone. I didn't even notice he wasn't holding my hand until he waved at me from over his shoulder.