Saturday Story Time: Sports, Traveling, and Family



I sit outside on the grass. Gus is with us this trip and so I want to give him as much time out of the car as possible. From where I sit I can hear the buzzers from the different courts going off, the squeak of the sneakers on the court and male voices indistinct but clearly coaching. I do not have to be in the gym to know the smell, the sweat, the emotion that is rising to the top of the building and leaking out the sides. This scene is going on all around the country, for our family it is basketball. For other families it may be gymnastics, volleyball, a chess tournament, or a jazz band concert. It is the life of any family that has kids that are involved in any extra curricular activity.

As I continue my time outside of the arena, kids of all ages come by. Dad’s and coaches always talking about the game that just finished. Discouraged, encouraged, heads low, big smiles, I see it all. Swaggering, man-child young men, with beards and tattoos, spinning the ball on a finger and swearing about a bad call. Little boys, holding on to their mom’s hand, as they excitedly relive the one shot they made.

This weekend was a short trip. Just a two and a half hour drive. Others, are much further. The ride to the tournament is always more exciting than the ride home and the car smells so much better on the way their than the way back. I put Gus in the car, walk to the entrance. I pay my five dollars and enter the gym. Today it is at a basketball facility called The Hoop, more often, it is at high school gyms. The format is the same, no matter where they play. It is either hot, or very cold. It is loud, and whistles are hard to distinguish from one court to another.

We watch our children compete, and yell at the Refs. We celebrate their victories, and complain about their losses. The ride back to the hotel or home is very quiet, or very animated depending on the outcome. Christian is always quick to thank you for coming to his game. He loves to have you there, and even though he rolls his eyes at my big mouth, he makes sure we know he is aware of the sacrifices we are making to give him the opportunity to play. Isaac is off with another team at a different tournament. In June “Summer ball” starts and they will be on the same team again. Jessie will play as well, so the juggling begins again.

These weekends are time-consuming, expensive, and at times, very stressful. These weekends are fun, the friendships made are special, and the competition and exposure for our kids is important. We are lucky because both Scott and I love the game of basketball and road trips are a way of life for us. I often get asked how we manage with four children involved in multiple sports. I guess we do not think about it that much, you just do it.

As a family we bond as we share in each others victories, and defeats. We have conversations on the trips that do not happen any other time. We share in the love for a game and our love for each other. We have made choices, and though it sometimes makes me crazy, and I think I hear basketballs bouncing in my sleep, our family is closer and stronger because of the sports involved life we have chosen.




1 Comment so far
Leave a comment

Ahhhh, The Hoop. Remember it well!!

Comment by Barb Stoefen

Comment here!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: