My oldest son Alex plays the trifecta of sports in our area — baseball, football, and basketball (no offense lacrosse, soccer, and hockey lovers). We are currently in the basketball season.
His younger brother Nick is not playing basketball this year, due to this:
Nick is — however — an engaged fan for his brother’s basketball team. Engaged in playing games on my husband’s iPhone, while ignoring his brother’s basketball games. He pauses only to mention he’s hungry and to inquire as to whether or not he can get a bag of Doritos and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups from the concession table. “Sure,” I respond. “Sounds like a well-balanced dinner to me.”
This year, Alex tried out for and made the Mid-Maryland basketball travel team. He is one of four 6th graders to make the team, along with ten 7th graders. It’s a step up from the basketball we’ve been used to, because:
- They charge an admission fee to get into the games (these are middle schoolers, people)
- We have concession/front gate duty for at least one game (I thought I had a reprieve for the basketball season from that little slice of hell that is concession duty)
- Alex has to wear dress pants, dress shirt, dress shoes, and tie for each away game — which means we had to go purchase dress pants, a dress shirt, and dress shoes — he borrows a tie from his dad. (we would have bought him a tie, but we need the cash for the game admission fees)
I took a photo of my 11 year old dressed for his first away game. And all I could think was “when did 11 start looking so grown up?”.
His first away game was against a team that my college roommate’s son plays on. Kathy and I met during my sophomore year at Towson. I had never heard of her farm community hometown, Walkersville, MD and she had never heard of my rinky-dink hometown Leonardtown, MD.
Kathy married her high school sweetheart — who was an amazing athlete for their hometown Walkersville High School football and basketball teams. After college, Kathy and her husband settled in near the Walkersville area and I stayed in Baltimore, where we had attended college.
Through the years, we have stayed in touch. She and her family eventually moved about 20 minutes from Walkersville. My husband and I — after stints in more suburban areas — now live in the area where she and her husband grew up and went to school.
In 2002, we both had sons — born just one day apart in February. This is them the Summer after they were born — Alex on the left; Kendall is on the right:
Last year, Alex and Kendall played in the same basketball league. In two games where their teams met on the court, they played man-to-man defense against one another. I snapped a few pictures of them during the games:
This year, Kendall and Alex weren’t playing man-to-man against each other, but I got the opportunity to take a photo of the two of them during a foul shot:
If anyone had asked me way back in 1988 what the chances were that I would end up settling with my family in Kathy’s hometown, I would have told you “no, that kind of rural living isn’t for me. I grew up in the country and now I’m a bright lights, big city girl. Ya’ll.”
If you’d gone on to ask if my college roommate’s life and mine would eventually intersect via our children’s sports, I would have barked at you: “Kids? I’ll be lucky to find some SOB willing to marry me, let along procreate with me.” And it probably would have sounded a bit slurry due to either Bartles & Jayme’s or Zima.
Today, I realize — and am delighted — that the odds for both were much better than I ever imagined.