Daddy Talk: When All the Stars Align
Sometimes fate allows two separate sequences in our lives to come together in a nice, fitting conclusion. Such was the case with the revival of basketball in my family.
Our five-year old, Tanner, attendeda party at a friend’s house where there was a mini-basketball and goal. While he’s been interested in watching basketball for some time, he now wants to play for real. He even committed his birthday money from April to buying a basketball—specifically a blue and green one, like the one at the party.
I took him to Wal-Mart and told him we would let him try out different ball sizes to find the best fit. After dribbling and passing balls through the aisles of the store for about two hours and drawing the stares of a couple workers (to whom I said, “Just testing out the size!”), I determined which size Tanner should get and encouraged himto buy it. It was a good price too! He looked at the ball I held, looked at the others in the same size, and shook his head: “None of them are blue and green.” Incredulous, I wondered aloud why we bothered testing them all afternoon and didn’t just look for a blue and green one. Tanner thought that was a great idea, so we started scouring the shelves for blue and green. There were none. Not in all of Wal-Mart.
Fortunately, the sporting goods store next door DID have a blue and green ball though it was the official size and not as inexpensive as Wal-Mart’s offerings. But Tanner cared not an iota because the sales lady at the register used a futuristic desktop electric pump to inflate the ball before his very eyes. He exited the store highly satisfied.
During this same timeframe, my parents in Tupelo purchased a new basketball goal for their driveway. They had one when I was growing up, stuck in the ground next to the pavement. The old one weathered through the years until the fiberglass backboard faded and cracked and the metal support pole rusted and folded in half. What remains is a dangerous two-foot shard that is apparently anchored eternally to Quickcrete underneath my parents’ front lawn.
The new goal is the type that sits on top of the ground and is weighed down by a large plastic container that is to be filled with sand. My parents thought that this set-up would be simpler than dealing with post holes and Quickcrete and eternally anchored shards of pole. So my dad was astounded when he read the instructions for set-up, which called for over 300 pounds of sand to be funneled into a hole the size of a nickel to weigh down the goal. After two minutes of this, he opted to pull over the garden hose and weigh down the goal with water. So much for instructions.
My parents’ imagination in installing this basketball goal met a two-fold need. As you would guess, Tanner was the first one onto the new “basketball court” last week, dribbling his blue and green ball. And it didn’t take long for all the kids and adults to join in. But additionally, I had forgotten how much I enjoyed playing in that driveway as a child. My mom and dad recreated those scenes beautifully, and I’m glad that my kids are able to share a part of it. Here’s hoping that the water from the garden hose will be heavy enough to support this basketball goal for the next fifteen years.
Tim Krason lives in Clinton with his wife and three children. As an English teacher, he has been enjoying the break during the summer months.