She has been gone for 48 hours and I feel like dribbling the basketball outside just to feel normal.
Not that I ever pick up a basketball. Or shoot or alley-oop or whatever you do with a basketball. There was that time at the park where she and I threw the ball, counting the consecutive hoops made by each of us. If I recall correctly we didn’t get past four.
That was a year ago, before middle school, before Cutiepie made the school team and before she was recruited to play on the Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) recreation league. Today, as the champion team of the 6th grade league, holding second in the CYO, and covered with bruises that come with playing Center position, Cutiepie skips the hoops while she bunks at Outdoor School for the week and, we, her loudest cheerleaders, get time out.
Basketball began as a surprise with team tryouts; having never played the game, she didn’t expect to make the team. DH and I were overjoyed for her, although neither of us at the time would be able to name a position or spot a foul. So it began as our 5’ 9” 12 year old learned to assist and paint (take a shot from inside position), and so have we learned.
Soon her team climbed to the Final Championships with lopsided scores that were proof enough that our kid had become a great defender in the game. 34 to 4; 29 to 2; 32 to 2 With the help of other moms and dads, we became versed in basketball moves and tactics. I’m a yeller and despite DH’s looks of embarrassment, I cheer loudly and proudly. D-Fence! Be tall! Rebound! It usually takes DH a few games to get warmed up before he chimes in. De-Fence! Take a Shot!!!
At the last game, the opposing point guard (the person running with the ball toward the basket) went thundering to the floor with a thud.
“Did she just run into a tree? She hit that branch and went down!” said a spectator in the stands. My daughter was the tree that she spoke of.
Cutiepie stood frozen, roots firmly planted and quickly disputed the resulting foul, “she ran into me!” Showing our naivete in the game, DH and I still debate the foul: I think Cutiepie needed to move and yet still fend off the point guard, to be seen as "in" the game. Not so much as like a tree with branches but like a gust of wind shielding the basket? DH, on the other hand, thinks Cutiepie must have made a slight motion with her arm constituting the foul. As if she smacked her opponent with her branch-like arm?
And with that force of nature, the school basketball team finishes its season as the champion.
You’ll never guess who made the school volleyball team?