Spending precious time together. Dad wishes that he could have called a time-out in the situation. Just so that he could take more of it all in.
A little 2005 Honda Civic drives up the driveway as the garage door opens. Stomachs are full from the burgers that the car occupants had just eaten, but the day was beautiful for February, and they didn’t want to waste.
As the car pulled into the garage, from the back seat, the driver hears, “can we play outside?” Words that hit him as deep as, “Dad, can we play catch?”
“Of course we can bud!” he says with excitement as he opens the door. Before he could even close his door, he hears his back car door close and a basketball hitting the pavement.
[perfectpullquote align=”left” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Sure he was smaller, but he knew the center’s weakness, his smile and laugh.[/perfectpullquote]
Almost immediately, he runs out onto the court and takes a defensive stance. The offense really stood no chance against this 5 foot 10 phenom center from Western Kansas. He was faster, stronger, more agile than his opponent.
But the 4-foot point guard from Kansas City somehow dribbles around the center and banks in a fade-a-away jumper. You see, he had an advantage. Sure he was smaller, but he knew the center’s weakness, his smile and laugh.
The center looks at the smaller point guard and just stares, wondering how he let this happen. He could practically reach above the rim and would have rather had goal-tending called than a made basket.
As he takes the ball back to center court, he stops. Watching his opponent, he knows that he could very easily take him to the rim. Instead, he picks up his dribble looks back at the small guard, smiles, and takes his shot.
As the ball flies through the air, he sticks out his tongue in confidence. It was an easy shot for him, the rim was down to 6 foot, and he was really only shooting a free throw on a real basketball court.
[perfectpullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”000080″ class=”” size=””]The only thing that would have made it better would have been the stands full with his wife and infant to cheer them both on.[/perfectpullquote]
Suddenly, the ball hits the rim and bounces towards the street. He runs to stop it from going down the street, and as he saves the basketball, he looks at his home. He looks at his son, who is smiling from ear-to-ear because he is beating dad in a game of one-on-one… on his home court.
His son runs up and steals the basketball, but as the father stands there, he can’t help but smile. In that one moment, even though he had just missed what would have been a game tieing shot, everything felt right.
The only thing that would have made it better would have been the stands full with his wife and infant to cheer them both on.
As he stood there, he didn’t care if his son played for the Kansas Jayhawks or not. What mattered to him was that he was getting a chance to play basketball with his son, on THEIR home court. It didn’t matter who won or lost that game. It will never go into the record books. But the memories of that game are what would live on forever.
What really mattered was that the two of them were playing together, as father and son.
Spending precious time together. Dad wishes that he could have called a time-out in the situation. Just so that he could take more of it all in. He knew that times like this were short. He understood that within just a few short years, his son would rather play video games than play basketball with his old man.
But, he wanted to take it all in. Every step, every dribble, and every shot as the crowd cheered. Because to the people in the crowd, they were both part of your hometown team.
It was at that moment that everything felt right.