Last Christmas, my husband and I decided to bite the bullet and purchase an in-ground basketball hoop for our three children as well as their neighborhood friends.
Unbeknownst to them, I like to call it my hostage hoop.
I call it that because it is easy for me to see that the years of them all being safe and sound hanging out in our driveway are slipping by at a painful pace. They don’t realize nor do they care that I consider this space, this hoop, their one true play zone where I am still able to watch over and protect them.
I am holding their childhoods hostage as long as I can.
The thump, thump, thump of their dribbling and the swish, clank, clank, CLANK, swish of their shots provide the music – a symphony of sorts – for our family’s summer playlist.
Yes, there are occasional (always) fights…fouls not being called, points not being tallied up correctly, an errant elbow thrown here or there…but mainly it’s an activity, from a shrinking pool of activities they share in common despite their ages, that they gladly do together. And that makes me both happy and sad.
I wonder what it will be like when my husband and I look out at that same driveway and only see the hoop staring back at us? When the sounds of dribbling, laughter, arguments, and celebrations are silenced?
For now, I don’t want to look that far ahead. Rather, I will look back and cherish all of the beautiful memories and blessings that have been bestowed upon us over the years.
We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing. – George Bernard Shaw
Written by Heidi Woodard