My boys are playing basketball this year. We have two completely... and I mean... totally and completely... different boys.
Bryant is eager. He is athetic. He doesn't hesitate, even if it means making a mistake. He is a quick learner. He is social. He loves the game-- any game. For our first game this past Saturday, he was up hours early. Ready. He decided to go with me early, since I have to be at all games. And on the way, he told me this: "I'm gonna see how the first game goes, so I'll know how mine will go." He's a student of the game... a student of the moment.
Tres is thoughtful. He is pensive. He's not super coordinated. He learns slowly at times. He is a fun loving kid, but he's selective about how he spends his time. He loves computer games-- controlled environments. For our first game, he got up as late as possible. Watched his brother's team play with dread apparent all over his face. He's a student of life.
But when it's game time, Bryant goes out all smiles. Easily calling for each ball. Passing naturally to those around him. Taking shots. Missing some and shrugging those off with a smile. He cheers for both teams victories and high fives those around him, even if he doesn't remember their names. He's quick on his feet and seems to be able to read where his man is going to go. I even see him try to fake him out! To me, he's the MVP of his team.
And when it's game time for Tres, he takes a deep breath and with steel determination, stalks onto the court to face, what I'm sure seems to him to be certain humiliation. I watch him push himself to stay with his man. He answers the coach and the ref with respect every time. His determined face quickly becomes red and sweaty, and still he pushes on. When the ball is passed to him, he is surprised at first, and uncertain what to do with it. Then he sizes up the situation, and adapts. He's taller than almost all the kids, so he has an advantage in passing the ball over their heads. Watching his face transform from dread to joy was a highlight in my own private ESPN show in my head.
Two totally different children. One very proud Momma.