It was a busy Saturday morning and my 5 year old twins had their first basketball game at 9:15AM. Boy was I excited as I had dreamt of this moment since the day they were born. I zealously went to wake them up and unfortunately, they were the crabbiest little kids ever!!! In their defense, they’re just not morning people (never have been) and usually don’t get out of the bed until 10AM or later. Their challenging mood really wasn’t what I had preferred to deal with that day. We had a wedding to attend immediately following their game and a long day ahead of us. I knew the only way I could accomplish this task was by sending my other two littles with dad (who conveniently had a charity event at work), getting myself dressed for the wedding and packing the twins’ clothes to get them dressed after their game.
We miraculously made it to the gym on time only to find out that the coaches for their team didn’t show up. I saw the need, so I immediately offered to help. They recruited my husband to help the week prior and I’m a formal basketball player and coach, so why not??? To my surprise, the program coordinator gave me ‘The look’, up AND down! She responded, “We did let Byron help us out but ummm… we should be okay. We’ll find someone else.” What she was really thinking was, “No this chick doesn’t think she can coach in my program with that Mary Poppins dress on and First Lady Obama pearls in her ear.” In which was totally understandable because hey, my attire didn’t exactly illustrate a ‘Hooper’, let alone an experienced basketball coach. She simply did not know me. No one in that gym did as it was in my husband’s hometown, not mine. And to add insult to my already injured ego, another lady asked if we were coming from church!! At this point, the urge to share my long list of athletic achievements and coaching/playing experience was tantalizing; however, I smiled and patiently waited for the replacement coach to arrive instead of selling myself.
The coach from another team arrived 15 minutes after the game was supposed to start and now they needed someone to run the clock. None of the other parents volunteered, as expected, so of course I eagerly offered to assist in that area. The coordinator hesitantly accepted my offer. Then she asked a young man to show me how to work the elementary clock that I’m pretty sure my 2 year old could operate and had the nerve to tell him to stay with me until I have figured it out. I wanted to say; Miss, I’ve been playing basketball and operating a clock for over 20 years, but I humbled myself, yet again, and allowed the clock training for dummies session to commence.
The game finally starts and my kids are looking like two deer in headlights with their eyes watering. It was painful to see my poor kiddos so scared and confused like two baby birds pushed out of their nest prematurely. They just stood in the middle of the court not even remotely trying to touch the basketball. I mean they were downright overwhelmed. So not only does the basketball coordinator think that I’ve got no game, my kids’ clueless reaction to the game was probably how she thought I would be as a coach. My mother bear instincts instantaneously kicked in as I began to direct my attention to my twins trying to encourage them to get involved. Unfortunately, I ended up getting too distracted and forgot to update the score board a few times. I earned the look of death from every over competitive parent in the crowd who apparently thought their 5, 6, or 7 year old was playing in front of college recruiters. By the time the 3rd short 6 minute quarter (that felt like 25 to me) had ended, both of my kids had already walked off the court stressing that they were tired and didn’t want to play. Then a volunteer says, “Why did you sign your kids up for basketball and they don’t even want to play”, while another mom rolls her eyes at me because again, I forgot to enter her overgrown son’s points on the scoreboard. It took all the super natural power of the Holy Spirit within me to not revert back to Keish-Keish AKA Peachez (the unruly pre-Saved, pre-Sanctified, pre-Holy Ghost filled Mrs. Peculiar Mom) and give all of these people a piece of my mind. Boy was my patience and humility being tested!
In the final quarter, BJ was reluctantly taking the ball out of bounds, Naomi was on a prolonged trip to the bathroom (pretty sure it was intentional), and I was sitting at the clock about to cry. Wishing there was a feature to speed up the time. Then finally….saved by the buzzer! The dreadful game is over! I tried to gather my kids to escape from this miserable experience as fast as I could only to be approached by the program coordinator again. This time she tried to encourage me (bless her heart) by saying she thinks they still give out most improved awards and that my daughter could be good because her aunt was good. I took a deep breath, smiled and said “Remember this moment; my kids have no choice but to be good”! Then I walked out of the gym, probably on my toes, with my flowing red dress, Mary Jane flats, and elegant pearls, saying to myself, “I’ll never wear a dress to the gym again.” I got my twins dressed in the car and we made to the wedding just before it started. This was a happy ending but the moral of this story is, if you’re a woman ‘Hooper’, never wear a dress to the basketball court, not unless you want your level of humility to be tested.