I am a homeschooling mother of 4 children who are all into sports. The 3 boys are into basketball while my only daughter is into tennis. I believe that sports is an incredible way to teach a whole lot of life lessons and values.
Through the years, we have attended so many games that have pushed our children to play the sport that they love in a competitive environment. Oh, we’ve seen the boys teary eyed, some of their team mates weeping . We’ve seen the boys fall and try to control their emotions and battle the “boy” within and control the urge to cry. But we also have seen the widest smiles, the highest high fives and the wins that seemed like our boys were like winning the NBA championship. Sports, borrowing from NBA’s famous tagline, indeed is where amazing happens.
Today was gonna be a tough game for our 10 year old Gino who is part of the ongoing Filipino Basketball Academy Rookie (7-11 yo) League in Acropolis, Quezon City. This is Gino’s 2nd run with the league and the Gray team. The Gray team had a 0-2 win/loss record so far and were facing the unbeaten Red Team. The last 2 games were heart breakers because they were leading up to the last minute of the game (the last having one only 5 players and no subs) but for some reason their opponents bounced back in the nick of time! To make matters worst, their team mate who is the most versatile guard I’ve seen was also sidelined due to a bad cut that required stitching.
Prior to leaving for the game, Gino was already talking about their tough opponent and their limitations to beat the team. As we began our journey, with me driving, I led the prayer for today’s game. I specifically asked for an “upset” because the team was going to be tough and our team was weak due to an injured player.
Since the venue of the game was an hour away according to Waze, I tried to maximize the trip by having a good conversation. We all know that “homeschooling” mothers are always guilty of “making every moment a teaching moment” but then, if the child is game, why not, right?
Gino was helping me with the Waze (the phone app that aids in suggesting routes to take to avoid congested roads). Our route took us to Quezon City via Skyway, Mckinley and C5. It was the best time to teach about the National Capital Region, right? As we passed Forbes and Dasmarinas Villages in Makati, we had a discussion on why the properties there were so expensive. From there, we discussed about membership clubs and how they operate as we passed Manila Polo Club. From there, our discussion dealt with investments, ( Gino: Mama , what is an investment? ), bank accounts, setting up a business, membership shares, why businesses close, bad investments etc!) Who wouldn’t appreciate traffic with such a conversation? It was good that I was driving because I could not be glued to the phone ( a familiar scenario when I am not driving). I so love bonding one on one with our children and this is why , I don’t mind taking them in long car rides.
The game was tight from the beginning. Our boys were able to limit our opponents’ shooting. However, it was a low scoring game, none of Gino’s and his team mates attempts were going in. The moves were right, he was at the right time at the right place, yet the ball would be short or would even go in and then be rejected by the basket. At this point, and all mothers would agree, it/s as if my heart was playing too. I could feel every frustration of my son. So when he was given some rest, I went to him and said, “Gino, you’re moving well but the ball is not going in. Maybe, you could pray for every shot you release? And maybe say to yourself, ‘For the Lord instead of for the win?’ ” (We were very encouraged by this year’s NBA MVP Stephen Curry’s message when he received his trophy. “Just be the best version of yourself.. .. all you need to have is faith in God and undying passion in what you do.”
A few seconds after Gino is brought back to the game, he makes his first shot! Hallelujah! The game was so tight that I was beginning to squeeze the arms of my “mommy seat mates” ( I always do that!). Gino was making shots left and right, I was even missing them as I tried to respond to a text from my other son. And soon, his other team mate’s shots were sinking the basket as well. Hurrah!!
And so it was indeed an “upset”, an answered prayer for this team who needed that lift, that win for today. Our boys won by 1! Gino was going to go home not teary eyed but with a full smile in his face so obvious in this post game photo.
As we were driving back, there more homeschool lessons as Gino asked more questions like ,”How does Waze work,” then he sees a billboard of Gary Valenciano and asked about, “Diabetes.” We eventually discussed why people pay toll as we entered the Skyway. Then he goes, “Mama, you know I did what you told me to do in the game? And my shots started to go in!” He sort of came to figure that one out himself. Am glad that I didn’t get head over heels about it and allowed it to sink in his mind and heart without pushing it. So yes, he knows God helped him sink his shots. He knows that for sure. Thank you to our Lord God who made our 10 year old boy feel how real you are today, thank you to the entire Gray team for the great battle you fought today, “You make your Mamas proud indeed ! ” Thank you to Coach Bernard and the entire Filipino Basketball Academy along with all the players of the other teams ! Without you, we would not have “pockets of faith experiences” for our little boys such as this.
My mother’s heart is full, yes, so full despite the long drive today! And I’d do it again and again to capture blessed moments such as this.
Matthew 18: 2-4 “He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. 3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”