There are few things more joyful than the exuberance of little ones who are totally involved in a sport, especially if one of the children involved is your special grandchild — in this case, the female one.
Sports activities for kids involve a sizable number of dedicated volunteers in the person of coaches, refs, and administration. In the case of our granddaughter, the venue is Upward, based on values and attitudes we embrace.
Watching this 7-year-old, this pygmy convert from cheerleading whose current great desire is to be a basketball player and a veterinarian, is one of the high points of my week.
Practice: Gangly little legs, wiry little arms, and a pony tail bouncing in a wide arc.
The wide open enthusiasm of a little girl who embraces life fully and without restraint, without reservation, who takes in every word her coach says and works to make it happen. She’s not the tallest, not the strongest, not the fastest, but she gives it her heart, 100 percent.
Thus it was, as well, in swimming lessons, in cheerleading, and will no doubt be so in the flag football she says she wants to play next fall.
At this age, we’d be kidding ourselves to believe that they don’t keep mental score, even if the scoreboard is not working, but they really haven’t reached the age when score counts for everything. It is still, much more, a reason to run, jump, play, and compete. Only secondary status is given to the question of who wins and who loses.
Someday the score will count for more. Perhaps it won’t be basketball, but I hope there will always be a place for the exuberance and energy to show itself to the world.