Thing One's basketball team had a close call at a game a couple of weeks ago. After a full season of relatively easy wins, that day's opposing team put up a real fight and nearly won. Unfortunately, my son had a hard time with the challenge: I could see on his face that he was shutting down and giving up in the face of this unexpected adversity. I was on my feet on the sideline in a heartbeat, yelling for him to snap out of it--to his credit, he did sack up and get his head back into the game. I could care less if they lose, but Mama D ain't raising no stinkin' quitters.
Thought about that experience as I read the stream of texts Himself was sending me from the stands at tonight's game. (I was home with the younger two.) The boys were losing badly the first half. Most of the team was visibly upset. They only scored 9 points in the entire half. But 8 of those 9 were by my son, who has never made four baskets in a game in his life. He is usually a supporting player, a bread-and-butter defender and rebounder who scores a few points here and there. Tonight, he carried his team for the whole first half.
The second half, his teammates snapped back. Thing One didn't make any other baskets, but he kept up his defensive pressure and even turned it up a notch. The texts showed a score that was getting closer and closer and closer...our point guards were finally finding paths to the hoop. And when the final buzzer sounded, our boys had won by one point.
I cannot begin to tell you how proud I am of that kid tonight. He didn't give up. He did the best he could--the best he's ever done--even when they were getting shellacked. And he stepped up to lead when a leader was needed. The win was just icing on the cake.