Friday, May 16, 2008

The Adventures of Fiddle and Faddle

Three days a week I watch two boys after school. I attempt to fill their bottomless pits that they call stomachs, oversee homework that they don't want to do, remind them that they are humans and not wolves and attempt to keep the brotherly love outweighing the brotherly homicidal tendencies. It has been a fun year with more than a few frustrations along the way, but today was one of the good ones.
It did not start out on a good note, the boys should have had swimming lessons but they both forgot their gear. Really? Both? Ugh. So, we headed to the Y anyway to burn some time since the guys didn't have any Friday afternoon homework.
Fiddle, the oldest by 18 months, and I struck a bargain where he was required to happily participate in vigorous physical activity for 45 minutes. No whining, no quitting and no complaining and then he could go to his nirvana, also known as the youth lounge. Faddle, the younger, would be stuck with me for any additional time I deemed necessary. Lucky him.
We got a basketball and hit the courts. We had an excellent game of 2 on 1 and worked up a sweat.
Fiddle and Faddle played together well even if Faddle hogged the ball as usual. Passing, an art he has not mastered. After the 45 minute mark I released Fiddle to nirvana and kept Faddle busy on the courts. After whipping me but good at HORSE and another skill game we grabbed some floor and recovered. A bunch of slightly older kids came in to play basketball and many of them seemed to know each other at least a little bit but it wasn't a closed/cohesive group. Faddle looked longingly at the scrambling group playing basketball.
"Wanna play?" I asked. Faddle shrugged. "Well, they might say no, and that would kinda suck, but they might say yes, and then you get to play a pick-up game of basketball and that would rock." Faddle shrugged. And watched. And watched. And watched.
Finally he stood up and tried to nonchalantly catch the eye of one of the players. Taking slow steps forward he edged to the side of the action. When there was a break in the game, he stepped closer, angling for one of the oldest boys until he was able to quietly ask if he could play. I didn't hear the exact exchange and it mostly seemed to be a silent ritual of ducking his head, waving a hand and pointing at himself.
He was in! Definitely the youngest and smallest, but not by a huge margin and he was oh-so-brave to ask! I love to see that bravery rewarded. It can't always be so, but it was this time! He did a great job, made a few shots, passed the ball, defended, got rebounds and even made a steal. They played for 25 minutes before finally seeking refreshment and I extracted Faddle as it was time to go home. He didn't want to leave but was lured with the notion of prying Fiddle from nirvana. His jealousy of Fiddle's access to nirvana knows no bounds!
Oh heavenly day, it was actually a lovely afternoon! Treasure it, treasure it and remember it next week when they try and turn my hair grey.

No comments: