Tyler has been playing basketball for years on his school team, local travel teams, and most recently in AAU. Playing for AAU definitely increased his skills, his determination, and his love of basketball. When he first started playing with kids that have done this for years, I wasn’t sure if he could step up his game enough to compete with them but he did.
He decided on his own that he would run to our local basketball courts every day dribbling his basketball. Once he got there, he shot at least 100 baskets. Then he would dribble back home again. He also insisted on getting to practice an hour early so he could get an extra hour of shooting in.
Watching him play in his games got more and more exciting the better he got! Sometimes my throat would hurt from all the yelling I did at his tournaments. He played kids who were sometimes rough, sometimes rude yet he always stayed competitive.
Now you think this was going to be the reason I’m proud of him don’t you? Of course I’m proud of his hard word and awesome results but those aren’t the main reason my son makes me proud.
The other day I brought him to the local basketball courts and there were a bunch of little guys trying to play basketball. None of them were making any of their shots. He walked over and asked if he could play. Their little eyes widened at the opportunity to play with a big boy like Tyler. I could tell they were in absolute awe of him.
At first I was a little nervous because in AAU, he had to be almost viciously competitive. One of the boys passed the ball to him and he drove it downy he court and set himself up for the perfect shot then instead of shooting, he passed it to one of the little boys and helped him shoot. He proceeded to make sure each boy made at least one basket whether they were on his team or not. He gently coached them, “Make sure to use the back board!” “ Hold your hand like this!”
In the hour or so that he played with them, I saw some improvement in their game but their confidence and excitement was what he really improved. I sat there watching him, my heart welling with pride at this amazing man I was raising.
As we walked away, I told him, “That was one of my proudest moments as a mother.”
He asked, “But what about that 3 point shot I made in my last game or all the rebounds I got in the championship.”
I explained, “Buddy, I’m always proud of all of your achievements and I get so excited at your games but seeing you be a good person, that’s THE most important thing I can teach you. I’m raising a man, not a basketball player. The who you are is more important than the what you are and right now I am so impressed with who you are.”
He smiled his smile of pride. The one he does where his lips twitch because he tries not to let it take over his whole face because he’s cool now. Even though he doesn’t want to show how much my words mean to him, I know he gets what I’m saying and I know I’m lucky to have such an extraordinary kid.
I made this video about him and LOVED seeing his smile as he watched me express how much I appreciate him.
“Your kid is extraordinary. Show them how much you enjoy every moment together by creating a special video of your own!”
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.