I have a blog post in the queue regarding church Family Camp Worship–which was delightful and Spirit-filled–but I am waiting in hopes of obtaining some photos to go with it. Meanwhile, also at Family Camp, the Girlchild was in her first sports tournament. There was a basketball tourney and every team needed a 5-7 year-old (and an 8-12 year-old, a 13-17 year-old and two grown-ups). 5-12 year-olds would earn 3 points per basket, 13-17 year-olds earned 2 and grown-ups earned 1. One of the two youngest players on each team had to touch the ball between each score. And bigger kids couldn’t take the ball from a little kid (but they could take it from each other which turned out to be pretty hilarious when Wordgirl finally got aggressive.) It was well-organized. The teams were randomly chosen from the folks who entered their names, and only a tiny amount of adjusting had to be done for the ages.
Wordgirl was in the second round, so she got to watch one round first. She and her preschool buddy (Shy Friend) spent the first few minutes of their game looking bewildered while everyone played around them. The tournament organizer stopped the play and said “Wordgirl and Shy Friend are watching while you all play around them. You MUST include them in the game. Remember, you can lift them up and carry them to the basket.” After that, things got fun.
The high-schooler on her team started tossing her the ball every time it came into play. She would dribble a couple times and throw it right back. Then the big guys started carrying her to the basket. Three times. She was pleased as punch. They won easily with her three points per basket. After that, the rule became the little ones could make only one basket per game by being picked up and carried.
One of the dads was clearly the strongest and most adept at picking up the kids. He came from the sidelines to pick his son up, and did the same for several of the kids who didn’t have a teammate who could quite make it. But he was on Wordgirl’s team.
Shy Friend’s dad began to provide sideline commentary on the game. He gave a spontaneous nickname to each player. Wordgirl became She-wolf, the teenager who looked out for her was Slick. The 10-year-old on her team was Barbershop (for his stylin’ hair). He noticed her and even the next night gave her a special high-five after she braved the talent show.
It was great fun, and her team, the Bouncy Balls, went undefeated, but mostly it was about building community. My kid, in the midst of it.
Best quote of the game, in the midst of the game, 5-year-old El Toro, who had been subbed in to Team Awesome and wasn’t sure exactly what was going on, to 6-year-old She-Wolf:
El Toro: Are you on the Awesomes?
She-Wolf: I AM awesone, but I’m on the Bouncy Balls.