Basketball season is in the tournament phase. I like watching my grandchildren playing this sport but enough is enough. I am ready to turn the page on basketball for this year. In all honesty, I have no choice. None of the teams I follow made their way into post-season tournaments.
My role as a grandma saw me attending 2 college games, a high school varsity game, a high school freshman team, a 7th grade team, a 5th grade and a 2nd grade team all within a 10 day period. Even at that, I missed seeing some games in which I had a grandchild playing. Grandchildren either keep their grandparents young by getting them out of the house or age them by all the running required to keep up with them. These same young folks are good for us in ways we may not have anticipated but more on that later.
Some of the entertainment at basketball games has nothing to do with a basket or a ball. At half time the school's dance team entertains with their synchronized jumps, kicks and gyrations. Pep bands play, cheerleaders do demonstrations or award ceremonies of some sort are presented. Small contests are waged. There may be a lineup of grade school children waiting their turn to sink a free throw. Older children try for a successful 3-point shot to win a giant-sized bottle of pop or some other treat from the concession stand. It may be a contest for grownups who try to make a basket from mid-court. All of this adds to the fun of attending a game.
Another source of fun for me at our local games is watching a group of 4 or 5 little girls, probably aged 3 to 7, who use the floor at the end of the court to showcase their own talents. At every break in the game, between quarters but also at time-outs, these little ones are doing cartwheels, the splits and twisting dance moves and kicks. They do not seem to be aware of the crowd in the bleachers. They are lost in their own little games with one another. It is a delight to see kids being kids, having fun doing their own thing.
As suggested above, some children do more than entertain, they also provide health benefits for their grandparents. A friend was recently watching her granddaughter play in a game that would put them into the high school state tournament. At the end of the 3rd quarter the team for which she was rooting was behind by 10 points. The girls, whose games Kay had attended all season, would not let that huge difference discourage them. She knew they would give their all to sink the baskets they needed for a win.
They did not disappoint her, enthusiastically charging onto the floor to begin the last quarter. Their determination to change the tide of the game was obvious. The gap in the score closed gradually. The team was still a few points behind and time was running out when Kay received a text message from her sister who was home listening to the game on the radio. Her sister asked, "How is your heart doing?"
Amidst all the noise and excitement surrounding her, she texted her answer, "It is fibrillating." Would a medical machine succeed in bringing your heart rate up as quickly as does the excitement of watching your granddaughter make the final baskets to ice a pull-from-behind win for her team? Grandchildren don't just provide us with good entertainment. They are good for raising our heart rates and that is healthy.