Archive for March, 2011

LadyBall

March 5, 2011

My grandson, Riley, is a great basketball player. He’s in fourth grade, and he flat-out tells me that no one in his class can play as well as he can. I’ve watched him, and I have to agree with him. You would think it might be hard to find some humble pie in a kid with that kind of statement, but not true. He will gladly compliment any good player.

So, here’s how I know: Yesterday, Baba (grandpa) and I are at Riley’s house (none of us can go in because the house is getting cleaned) and Baba and Riley start a pick-up game.

They finish a good round of Horse and One-on-One. I look over, and there they are, Baba and Riley, sprawled out on the grass — recouping.  So, I pick up the ball and start practicing my hook shot. Riley’s mama comes out and we go one-on-one. A couple of neighbor girls come up, and we now have four girls on the driveway shooting hoops.

Riley decides  he wants  to play. “Okay,” I say, “but we’re playing Ladyball.”

“What’s that?” His face tells me  he thinks I am joking.

“It’s when somebody on the other team shoots a basket, and you say, ‘Wow! Nice Shot!’ And when you foul them you say, ‘Oh, sorry. Your ball.’ It’s when we make up the rules as we go along, because we don’t need any rules. Everyone just knows they have to be nice.”

“Okay,” he says without hesitation, “I’m in.”

We play. He’s a ball hog of course. But he manages to pass occasionally to the little girl on his team. He is one of us — having a good time. And, as his grandmother, I am in hog heaven!

Baba soon comes up and decides to get in the game, but he hasn’t been paying attention to us; he’s been fixing Olivia’s bicycle pedal, and so he’s kinda been out of the loop. But, he jumps right in. “Hey,” he says, “I’ll play on Grandma’s team.” He quickly calls double dribbling on Riley and claims the ball.

“Uh-uh, Baba. We’re playing LadyBall,” Riley grins at Baba and takes back the ball. I could tell Riley loved that move. (After all, this is the kid that, at the ripe-old age of five, was teasing Baba and gave him the nickname of Fuzzy-whiskers).

Baba has a big question on his face and he looks at me.

“That’s right,” I proudly prop up Riley’s return, “LadyBall.”

“What’s LadyBall?” Baba looks at us as though we’re pulling his leg.

“It’s when we’re nice enough to make up the rules as we go along.”

“Oh-h-h, make up the rules as you go along,” Baba nods. “Only a lady would think of that,” and he politely hands the ball back to Riley. He smiles out of the corner of his eye.

We played LadyBall for at least an hour: my grandson, my daughter, and my love … and a few other kids. Not only was LadyBall possible, it was a blast!

And, I think Riley just might want to play again.  I know because I heard him compliment one of the players.

“Grandma can shoot!”

I heard it clear as a bell.

Who is Curly Grandma? She is a real grandma with seven grandchildren.  Her name comes from her first grandchild, Megan, who learned to distinguish her two grannies with adjectives (hence the Curly). Visit Curly Grandma at her website www.curlygrandma.com and learn all about writing letters to grandchildren. On her site, get lots of information and free stationery. And you can even buy her book Curly Grandma’s Letters: Writing to Kids and Capturing Your Autobiography (Tate Publishing; available on Amazon.com).