Friday, January 16, 2009

Why I'm a sports fan...

There are two kinds of people...sports fans, and those who don't care about sports. Neither of my parents were sports fans, so I grew up in a "non-sports" home. Aside from the occasional softball game at a family reunion or being forced to play kickball by my elementary school PE teacher, I just wasn't exposed to sports at all. I guess I never realized most of them existed. For everyone I knew in the farming community in which I grew up, hard work was enough exercise--no one needed recreational activities to stay in shape!

That was all great...then I grew up and married one of those "other" types of people--a sports fan! A man who liked to watch sports, who understood sports, who even played sports....and I soon found that if I really wanted to spend time with him, say, snuggling on the sofa together, that it would be done while we watched sports. There was my problem. I watched. And since I don't enjoy watching a bunch of people running around doing stuff I don't understand, I began to ask questions. My hubby patiently answered every question, even when I know he must have sometimes wanted to "shush" me!

Fast-forward 20 years (ouch! It's been longer than that, actually!). We have two children, the younger of which is a boy. And guess what? He's a JOCK....has been since he could sit up and roll a ball across the floor with his Daddy. At age four, he started playing soccer. At five, basketball and teeball. Little league baseball at nine. Middle school basketball and track get the picture.

Guess who's his #2 fan?? (His dad will always be owner of the #1 slot.) Who's at every game, cheering him on? Who's sometimes been seen sitting in the stands or on the grassy sidelines explaining to another mom what that last call meant? ME!!! I actually understand sports (okay, most of the time)! And my understanding has helped me to enjoy my son's games to the fullest. See, all that time I "wasted" watching sports turned out to be a really good thing. Investment, return. I like that! But it took me about 15 years to realize that way back when I thought I was wasting time, I was actually being prepared for something.

Don't we all want faster results? Don't we, like most three-year-olds, wish we could know "why"? It all boils down to trust. If we have faith, and try to live as God wants us to, He will prepare the way for us...even down to the minor details. All those years ago, I was learning to be a better mother to the son that I hadn't even imagined yet. And for that detail, I'm very grateful.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Sibling Rivalry??

Hubby is gone this week, on another business trip. I spend most nights that he's away staying up way too late, watching TV or checking e-mail/facebook. I always regret it when the alarm sounds at 6 am though!!

Anyway, last night I got a wonderful e-mail from my brother and only sibling. It was entitled "Wish you were here..." Seems he had been snowed-in most of the day and had spent some time going though old photos that my dad had taken. All these wonderful photos are stored in the form of color slides (I guess that was the latest technology back in the day). My Christmas gift to him was a USB slide scanner which will scan and convert slides to digital pictures. Almost all our family history has been packed away for many years, stored in such a way that we haven't been able to enjoy it.

So imagine my delight when I opened the attachment to my brother's message to find the above photo of the two of us enjoying the snow! I figure this was taken around 1970 or '71. Me and my brother, in our red sled (which was the coolest!) in the snow...bundled up against the cold by our mother much like the kid in "A Christmas Story" until we could hardly get out of the sled when we got to the bottom of the hill.

I don't really need a reminder that I love my brother dearly, but it doesn't hurt to stop once in awhile and count him among my many blessings. And I really don't remember much sibling rivalry--he's always been my playmate, my encourager, and my hero in many ways. No one else fully understands my quirky sense of humor. I was the Robin to his Batman, the Tonto to his Lone Ranger. He taught me to fling myself fearlessly down every steep hill I encountered--wildly steering a red wagon in the summertime, hanging on for dear life on our red sled in the winter. I never thought to be afraid when I was by his side. I think our closeness was fostered by the fact that we lived so far out in the country that we had no choice but to be playmates for one another most of the time. I still recall heated negotiations--"I'll play house for the next 30 minutes, then we're playing cowboys and indians for 30 minutes!"

Anyway, tonight's note was a sweet reminder of how much richer my life is because of my big brother. Yeah, we still try to push each other's buttons, but it's all in good fun! Thanks, brother, for making me smile....I love you, and I wish we lived close enough to go sledding together, too!