My boys don’t always love to go to the gym with me. Now, maybe it’s because I make them shoot baskets, or run laps or sprints in the gym while I work out, instead of letting them sit in front of the Wii in the game room. I’m so mean like that, making them get some exercise instead of allowing their muscles to atrophy from lack of use. I should really be stopped.
Anyway, today my friend PA took the PBA, along with her two gentlemen (yes, they are boys but I call them gentlemen, as I do my boys…if you don’t have that expectation of them from a young age, at what point do you begin to expect it? They are modern-day knights, yes?) to her house for a snack and then they all met me at the gym.
Wait, that’s not entirely true…they went to the gym and I went to the gym; we were there simultaneously but we were not together. I walked on the treadmill and lifted weights; they played basketball. All of them…PA and the four boys. And they picked up some additional players as well. I kept an eye on it from up above, but mostly was watching my HGTV…it’s my one time a day to do so. The remote is always hijacked by someone with a Y-chromosome in my house, and try as I might to explain how fantastic HGTV is, they really haven’t grasped it yet. Holding out for those daughters-in-law.
So they all played basketball..apparently exercise can be fun when mom isn’t making you do it. Even my 11yo, of whom I was so proud, got into playing basketball. He’s my soccer player. He’s always been my soccer player. He’s a “one sport kind of kid” and doesn’t ever want to try other organized sports. So I was tickled to death that he had willingly jumped into a pick-up game (which I know isn’t “organized” but it was more so than any basketball he’d played… he’d only shot baskets with his brother, and he wasn’t very clear on som/many of the rules.)
I will say I was also proud of the 9yo for not backing down…as you know, he’s on the smaller side of 9 but didn’t flinch (much) at the size of the other boys. He plays in a basketball league, but was clearly having trouble remembering which sport he was playing; more than once he tried to tackle someone who had the ball. Wrong sport, dude. And where were you during football? We could have used someone that would make a tackle like that…
Anyway, they played and I worked out. When I was finished, I came in the gym to watch their game for a while. Eventually PA joined me on the bleachers, after an eighth-grader who wanted into the game said to her, “I can take your place if you need a breather.” Wow…so polite, wasn’t he? I’m certain he meant nothing by his comment.
So, a few minutes later, I gave the PBA a “2-Minute” warning, then a “1-Minute” warning. I was just about to give the “Let’s go!” when the play was headed down toward the end of the court where I was seated. I can’t exactly recall what happened, but the very same eight-grader who had been so polite to PA ended up getting leveled. Unfortunately, my 9yo was underneath him.
There was that moment where everyone immediately froze and silence followed. Then the sobbing. I hopped up and went to collect him.
It took my son what seemed like forever to tell me what hurt (it was mere seconds, if that). He stuck his hand in his mouth (I’m sure it was clean…playing basketball with a ball they borrowed from the gym and I’m certain they clean those things so often…yuck-o), and pulled back his lips. There was a tiny bit of blood on his hand (yes, I confirmed at that moment that his hand was dirty but I was trying really hard not to look at it).
We rinsed out his mouth, and I had him tuck a wet papertowel on the sore spot. We gathered our things and away we went. As we walked, he was trying to stop the crying. I’m certain it was more a case of being scared instead of being hurt, but in an effort to not diminish his “pain” I kept my mouth shut. His brother, however, is lacking in some filters.
Either that, or he’s just a typical brother. The only-child in me can’t always tell the different.
11yo: Are you alright?
9yo: (nod and wipe of his eye…still with the dirty hands)
11yp: Good. But you know that kid’s dad must be an exterminator, because he squashed you like a bug!
Ah, feel the love.