Friday, June 8, 2012

Team Thomas!

Last evening Jeffrey (our 12 year old son) was just wanting dad to do something with him.  "So will it be basketball or archery, Dad?" he asked with a forced-choice quiz that let me know he was not going to be denied a little father-son time.  Of course I'm going to choose the basketball (although later we actually did shoot the bow and arrow).  So here we are playing a little one-on-one complete with dad's play-by-play commentary highlighting our every move.  Before we know it, the other 3 boys are interested in what we are doing and want to join in.  While to some degree it was stealing the moment, it also seemed to be a moment to teach a little something about teamwork, playing together, having fun as a family know, a bonding moment to some degree.

For the next 20-30 mins all 5 of us frolicked around with a basketball, occasionally even hoisting the ball towards the basket.  The other 95% of the time boys were tackling each other, tucking the ball under their arms and running away at top speed, and just laughing and having fun.  A real moment! And for that moment we felt like a family.  We don't get a lot of those yet, but yesterday was one of them.  Boys just laughing, rough-housing a bit, competing and enjoying life.  If only for a few minutes, the frustrations, neglects, speculations of diagnosis, and all the weirdness were suspended.  It was just sons playing with dad, safe in the security of a loving environment and secure in the confines of family.  Mom provided the cheering section as each boy had his "One Shining Moment".  Hugs were all over the court as mom also provided the media frenzy, snapping pictures.  It was as close to normal as it gets!  And it felt good!

It was somewhat uncanny, perhaps even prophetic that we had this family moment on the basketball court.  Just days before, I mentioned to Karen that it sometimes feels like God has given us a little basketball team of our own.  Kinda like there's going to be this basketball tournament coming up, I've been selected to coach a group of boys in that tournament and its my job to get them ready to play as both individuals and a team.  But here's the catch:  They are cute, energetic and intelligence, but they have absolutely no skills in which to compete in the game of basketball!"  And what's worse, they have little motivation to learn how to play basketball, no desire to operate as a team and are even resistance toward the whole process!

How does a coach take a team like that and win the tournament?  Just get back to the basics.  The fundamentals.  Teach!  Teach!  Teach!  And when we've taught everything we can, teach again!  

...and today's practice objective:  just see if we can have a little fun together!

...and it worked!  

Until we talk again...