Last week Ajay’s basketball team had a parents vs. kids end of the season game. To our mutual delight (meaning my husband’s and mine) Ajay requested that his Bubba play in our place. (With this choice, he spared himself not only the humiliation of having dinosaur aged parents, but saved his Dad and I multiple doses of Advil and recovery time too.)
While most of the other men and boy folk in the gym good naturedly jogged onto the court for tip off, Ajay and Sutter sat shoulder to shoulder pulling on their hoop shoes while talking what is officially known as ‘smack’ in our household. Although I could not hear the specifics of what they were saying, I could tell from their facial expressions that all thoughts of this being a friendly non-competitive match up, were totally and irrefutably lost on both of them.
I was not wrong- for the next 90 minutes these two gave it everything they had in an epic battle of the littles and the bigs. Watching them together on that court took me backwards in my mother’s mind to the first outing Ajay ever went on. He was four days old when we took him to his big brother’s high school basketball game. As I teetered up to the top row of the bleachers with our little 7-pound addition resting gently in my arms I remember quietly hoping that this child would be an athlete like his brother. Well for once, it was from my lips to Gods ears… cause give this kid a ball- any ball- and he can flat out bring it.
Ajay was his Bubba’s biggest fan for many years, and he had spent more time in gymnasiums by the time he was five, than most people probably do in a lifetime…. but now the tables have turned and Sutter is planted next to us in the bleachers at the majority of his little brother’s events. Sure, Sutter loves sports and his presence at his little brother’s games could be passed off as just a side effect of his love of the game, but in reality, it is so much more. His willingness to take time out of his own life, to show up for his little brother, tells me that all those years Sutter spent dribbling down the court playing his heart out- his eye was on more than the ball. He knew that ‘his people’ were there watching him…and it mattered to him… and nothing makes me happier than seeing that Sutter has picked up the family habit of showing up for the people he loves.
So back to that ‘friendly’ end of season game… it is not often that we get to sit in the bleachers and watch our Big and our Little compete… but if the Universe will keep blessing us with opportunities like this, we promise to keep showing up. …Cause showing up is how we do it ‘round here…
(And in reference to the pic in today’s graphic…. Ajay wants everyone to know that despite Sutter’s impressive attempt at blocking his shot…. It did go in….)