Thursday, January 28, 2010

Basketball


AJ did NOT want to do basketball... but I made her and my reasons were that she hates being hot (indoor/water sports are the way to go here) and of course she is going to be very tall. So basketball seemed like a good choice... right?

Well, from the start it did not go well. Due to a miscommunication she did not get on the team with a bunch of her friends. I was worried she would be too timid with girls she did not know, playing a sport she had absolutely no exposure to. And I was 100% right. The first few practices were agony. She felt very self conscious and nervous and wanted to quit. Thankfully her coach is probably one of the kindest people I have met, very encouraging and very good at coaching girls in basketball (he has 3 girls–all basketball players.)

After a couple of practices and one (not so great) game AJ began to come around. I could see from her body language that she was feeling more self assured and comfortable, and then all of the sudden... she was good. I mean really good! She was scoring points and winning the drill-games they play during practice. She was picking off rebounds left and right, beating girls to the ball and not backing down. I cannot fully put into words the transformation that has taken place in the last 2 months. She can't wait for practice, she loves the games, and even though they don't officially keep score (of course the parents do) she wants to know who won, who got the most points, rebounds, assists, etc.

And here is the value of sports. Swim team transformed AJ into a competitive, self confident, winning-machine, and I can see that light in her eyes with basketball now. She has made a bunch of new friends (I am now so glad she didn't make it onto the team with her girlfriends) and learned yet again that she can do something hard and scary. Sooooo proud! As a shy kid myself, I know how difficult these things are, and she has come out on top. And Coach Avery... you are the best! And I hope this is the start of a very fulfilling sport for her.

LOVE that girl!!!

Friday, January 1, 2010

How First Night devolved into a bank heist... Jack and AJ style

We stopped by Walmart to pick up some New Year's hats for the kids to wear to Austin's First Night. So they picked out some cute silver 2010 top hats. So far, pretty normal. Brett wanted to pick up a beanie so we stopped to grab one, when AJ's eyes popped open, "Are those 'robber hats'?!?" You can see where this is going. They quickly negotiated the terms of exchanging the 2010 hats for the robber hats with arguments along the lines of "these are much warmer," "we can wear these all the time," and "we can sneak around." So we walked out of Walmart with two masked heisters in tow.

A couple hours later we were in downtown Austin hunting down a good spot for the parade. We found a nice slice of curb with a big empty area behind it... perfect for the kids to run around and be wild waiting for the parade to start. After settling in a little bit Brett turned to me, "Um... look what that building is." We had unleashed our masked bandits in the entryway to Austin's prominent Frost Bank. Needless to say I nearly gave myself an aneurysm watching our mini burglars sneaking around playing robbers on the bank's front steps.

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I've said it before and I know this is not the last time... I've got two of the weirdest kids on the planet. Never a dull moment with those two left to their own devices. The best thing to do is just give them the reins and see where it leads.