Saturday, February 28, 2015

respect the suit

Every so often, teenage boys do something, in just enough of an amount, to convince you that it is all going to be OK. Spotty homework turn-in record, door-slamming temper tantrums, screaming matches behind the wheel, they are temporarily forgotten in the hope that the outcome of this whole parenting gig may be a positive after all.

Today was such a day.

In December, Secondo took it upon himself to volunteer as the assistant coach for Terzo's recreational basketball team. He's no angel; it's all calculated. He is trying to rack up volunteer hours for National Honor Society, failing to understand that a certain grade point average is the threshold requirement. Still, points for initiative. He has faithfully attended the vast majority of practices and games.

The coach couldn't make the last game, and asked Secondo if he would take over the coaching job for him. Secondo immediately decided that a suit was the only possible attire.

He went over plays with his father, he planned out his strategies and player rotations, he even wore his team t-shirt (which the coaches usually wear on the sidelines) as his undershirt, so as not to jinx himself.

He took some good-natured ribbing from the refs, who warned him up front that chair throwing was not allowed.

Then he coached his heart out. He gave pep talks and ran code plays. It was amazing to watch the younger boys respond, looking to him for direction. Though not so amazing really, because if there is anything that a pre-teen boy responds best to, it is a teenage boy giving him direction.

The team has been in a slump lately, but today they won. No doubt the basketball gods were smiling down on the suit. He needed this day. We needed this day. This sophomore year has been rough going, and it is days like this that help to keep a parent, and a kid, plodding along.

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