My son has been going through a tough time over the last few months – a little bit of typical kid stuff and a little bit of other stuff you hope your child won’t have to typically deal with. That said, surprising him with a “just because” wrestling figure or slipping a Tropicana orange juice – his favorite – in his lunch box (instead of water) goes a long way when you see the smile on his face or get a extra big “you’re the best mom ever” hug.
It gives me so much comfort that he considers me his best friend and feels he can tell me anything (his words, not mine) … the happy and the sad; the good and the bad; and all his hopes and dreams – no matter how “reach-for-the-stars” they may seem.
As a mother, my hopes and dreams live in the happiness of my children. Of course, I have other goals and measurements of my personal joy, but there are those moments we make possible for our children that are simply priceless. This past weekend I was able to give my son, Joey, the opportunity to sit front and center among his heroes – The Harlem Globetrotters.
Allow me to take a few steps back to set the stage.
I never thought Joey would be the “traditional” team sports kid – especially since he would do cartwheels up and down the field when he was briefly on a town soccer team. And, he lasted one day at flag football. One. Day.
At the time, team sports just weren’t his forte. And that was perfectly fine. (Truth be told, I wasn’t too keen on early morning weekend games anyway!)
Tae Kwon Do has been “his thing” for the last several years. It’s an individual sport and has been incredible for him in terms of teaching discipline and respect as well as building up his self-confidence. Joey is well on his way to earning his Black Belt, and I am impressed and proud of his dedication and commitment to the martial art.
Last fall when the flier came home from school, I was surprised when Joey expressed interest in joining a basketball team. We registered. He practiced. He was part of a team. His coach was determined to make the season fun, teach the boys sportsmanship and teach them the skills that are needed to play. His coach was the coach you hope your child is lucky enough to have.
Then, it happened. The it that would become everything.
Since I was a kid, I had always heard about the Harlem Globetrotters – all I knew was that they were a bunch of red, white and blue wearing basketball players who put on a funny game/show. Fast-forward a whole lot of years and Joey and I were watching the famous basketball players at Nassau Coliseum one Sunday in February 2014. Since we saw them play, Joey has lived, breathed, and slept everything Globetrotters.
He knows the name of every player and just about everything about every member of the current team roster. He has the uniform. He has self-taught himself all most of the tricks (he still has a few feet to grow before he can dunk!). He wakes up in the morning and is spinning a basketball within minutes. Same thing in the evening…basketball, basketball, basketball. He aspires to be a Harlem Globetrotter.
Last weekend, we were lucky enough to sit courtside at a Harlem Globetrotters game which took place at Stony Brook Arena on Long Island. We arrived an hour early and were able to rub elbows with players and team staff. Joey was even chosen for an on-court dance contest prior to the beginning of the game. He rocked the whole place. The kid has moves!
The game was awesome – truly an entertaining family-friendly experience…one I highly recommend for all families. From the Harlem Globetrotters website (www.harlemglobetrotters.com): With incredible ball handling wizardry, amazing rim-rattling dunks and trick shots, side-splitting comedy and unequaled on-court fan interaction, this must-see event is guaranteed to entertain the whole family creating memories that will last a lifetime.
After the game, the players graciously and happily signed autographs and posed for pictures for young and old fans alike. The Harlem Globetrotters are true class acts, and I would be proud if Joey were a member of the team one day.
For now, we will continue to attend the games. You may even say we are groupies. Mom and Joey – the Harlem ‘Groupie’trotters.
The current roster includes: Ant, Big Easy, Buckets, Bull, Cheese, Firefly, Flight Time, Flip, Hacksaw, Hammer, Handles, Hawk, Hi-Lite, Moose, Scooter, Slick, Stretch, The Shot, Sweet J, Thunder, TNT, Too Tall and T-Time. Players change depending on the game – but they are all fantastic, so you are guaranteed an awesome show.
Now, we just have to come up with the perfect Harlem Globetrotter name for him…any ideas?