The first week of January brought the first practice of Upward Basketball for Caleb. He had his first game on Saturday, and after seeing a few practices and seeing his first game, I am loving this year's season just as much (maybe more) as the last...probably because I can tell Caleb is loving it, too.
The picture on the left is the team after the game, Caleb is looking up at me smiling. The picture on the right is during the game, Caleb is in the center of the picture.
Last night was picture night, so we arrived a little early like the coach asked, all dressed in his nice, blue jersey. His coaches are good about making the boys tuck in their jerseys - I don't know why I love this so much, maybe because I was always made to tuck in my jerseys when I participated in sports, might as well teach 'em young! Before we left, I asked Caleb if he wanted me to help him with tucking it in because he has a very long jersey, and it's sort of bulky with his blue t-shirt that goes underneath. He didn't want me to, so I just left him alone and sent him over to his team when we got to practice.
I noticed that the coaches began telling the boys to tuck them in not long after they all were together, and each boy did as they were told. I saw that Caleb had his shorts pulled up really high, and his jersey and undershirt were...well...very bulky and almost laughable! I waited on the sideline, wondering if he would be able to adjust it to look a little better, but it remained bulky. I walked over to the team, and I nudged one of the coaches (who is in my small group, so I knew I could kid with him), and said, "If I'm paying for pictures, I don't think I want him to look quite like that!" He smiled, and I continued over to Caleb to help him.
Since it was in the middle of the gym, in front of his teammates, I wasn't sure how to go about helping him. I didn't want to embarrass him or anything! But I just started pulling on his jersey and pulling on his shorts. It wasn't working, so I did what I would have done at home - I literally put my hands down the backside of his shorts and around to the front, fixing his shirt and jersey, making it not bulky and pulling on his shorts a bit so they weren't so high. Then I pulled out the front of his jersey just a bit, enough to see his number.
I said, "Looks all better kiddo!" and walked back to were I was sitting before the uniform adjustment.
Then I realized...he wasn't embarrassed.
Not a bit.
Not one, "Oh, mom!" or anything.
He just stood there, let me help him, and actually said thanks before I walked away.
He still holds my hand at Walmart if I reach for it...or anywhere for that matter. I remember being surprised when he wanted to hold my hand at school when I visited during the Halloween parade last fall.
And I'll take it. I'll take this non-embarrassed little boy as long as I can. I honestly didn't expect to have it this way this long. I'll brace myself for when the day comes and he doesn't want to hold my hand. After all, it would be quite odd if a 16-year-old still held his mom's hand at Walmart! :)
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