Mothers tend to grumble a lot. There is always so much to do (work, laundry, shopping, cooking, cleaning, homework, carpooling…the list goes on and on), and seemingly very little time in which to complete it all. So, we grumble. It may be a silent grumble, with an eye roll; it could be a full blown Marge Simpson grumble (I’ve perfected that one by now).
Just this evening, I was feeling very overwhelmed because the kids still need to finish their valentines, the dishes had not been done, I was in the middle of a bazillion loads of laundry, and Al had Special Olympics basketball practice at 5:30pm. It wasn’t even a full practice (I assumed it would be cut short because the older players had a game; I was correct in that!), so were going to drive 25 minutes for a 30 minute practice. It took a lot for me to not bail on basketball all together, in favor of finishing all the other tasks I was struggling to complete. But, because Alex loves basketball, and this was the last practice of the season, I dropped everything and loaded everyone into the car.
As I figured they would, the kids fought the entire way, and with traffic, we barely arrived in time. Stressful commutes are just super fun. When we arrived at the gym, Alex ran ahead so he could join his team, and I waited (and waited, and waited) for Andrew to get his stuff together so we could go into the gym. We trudged inside, and found a place to sit. Alex was a little overwhelmed by the presence of all the extra people in the gym, but he quickly warmed up and fell into line with his teammates. I tried to watch the kids practice, even though my endless to-do list kept running through my head.
Then, I saw Al take the ball and start dribbling down the court, running the drill his coach had demonstrated. He was beaming. He loves the game, and there is no hiding it when he gets the ball. The third part of the drill was to take a shot; he missed many consecutive shots, but would always take the ball and get back into line.
Then, the team switched to a shooting drill. One by one, the kids took their shots, and many of them starting making their baskets. The smiles on their faces quickly melted away any of the stress I was feeling in having to take Al to practice. With each basket, their smiles got a little brighter, and they were very proud of themselves. It was awesome.
So, although I had to abandon this disaster area of a home I have right now to go to an abbreviated practice, it was so worth it. These kids work so hard, and they needed to hear the cheers from the “crowd” (read: players’ parents). Their million-watt smiles were more than enough of a trade off.
The valentines and laundry will all get done in time. I’ll remember Alex’s proud smiles for many years to come.