Archive | November, 2011

Four Magnificent Points

14 Nov

Last week I visited a nearby town called Melba to watch my daughter’s basketball game. Having arrived early, I watched as the girls warmed up before the game started. My daughter’s team is pretty good. But the Melba team was down-right impressive. They were tall girls. And they were strong. They threw powerful passes, none of which went over the intended recipient’s head or rolled between anyone’s legs. They never, ever dribbled the ball on their own foot. And they made their shots. Nearly all of them. I don’t know about the girls on my daughter’s team, but I was already feeling a bit intimidated by this imposing team of Melba.

Those feelings didn’t change much after the game started. My daughter’s team played well. But when the final buzzer sounded, the score reflected the vast difference between the ball-playing abilities of the two teams.

Despite the slaughter, my daughter’s coach was quick to line up her team to congratulate the Melba team on their win. Admirable sportsmanship, wouldn’t you say? And an opportunity for the girls’ true character to shine, despite scoring only four lousy points. Sometimes we are at our best when things are at their worst.

As the Melba team celebrated their victory, we were quietly informed that in actual fact, the Melba team was not in the same league as my daughter’s team. Nor were they one league above my daughter’s team. They were actually two whole leagues above my daughter’s team.

Things are not always what they may seem to be, are they?

Viewed in this light, I’m not sure any team or coach has ever been so proud of having scored four magnificent points. We, too, had a victory to celebrate.


A Change is Coming

4 Nov

Ranger’s water dish was frozen over this morning — a sure sign that winter is on its way. Up till now, we have enjoyed a spectacular fall here in Idaho, pleasant and beautiful. I hope it doesn’t give in too quickly to winter.

The weather isn’t the only thing changing around here. Yesterday I took my first-born son to our pediatrician’s office for his very last childhood immunization. I know. He’s 17. But somewhere along the way we must have missed a booster shot, and the pediatric center just didn’t feel right about letting him grow-up without it.

We sat in the waiting room, along with a bunch of squirming two and three-year olds, and reminisced about all the times we had sat there together over the years. Soon a nurse called my son’s name. Broad-shouldered and much taller than me, he led the way to the examining room. The nurse pointed to a chair. “Go ahead and sit down,” she instructed him. “There’s plenty of room for your girlfriend too.”

“WHAT?!” he yelped.

The nurse winked at me. “Well, she’s too young to be your mother.”

I love that nurse.

One booster shot later, the nurse signed and dated the only remaining blank space on my son’s dog-eared immunization card and handed it back to me for the very last time. In my mind, I can still so clearly remember the day that card was first handed to me. It was bright yellow and blank — and I had a newborn son in my arms.

Just like Ranger’s frozen water dish, I feel a change coming.

We said good-bye to the nurse and she wished us well. As we walked out the door, my son turned back. “Just one more thing before I go,” he said, smiling at the nurse. “Do you think I could please have a sucker?”

I guess there are some things that will never change.