Remember when you were a kid, and all you wanted to do on a hot summer night was play outside until it got dark out, and then play some more? OK, maybe Buck is an exception to this, since he’s a freak who never wants to be outside in the summer…but for most of us normal people, a hot summer night was an invitation to play outside for as late as we could get away with it.
I was no exception to this rule.
When I was a kid, one of my favorite things to do was to shoot baskets in our driveway. And I was good at it. Really. That’s one of the things that few people know about me. I am especially good at the game of Horse.
People are always surprised by this—I don’t know why this is. Perhaps it’s the fact that I’m a very clumsy person and bump into things on a regular basis. Yeah, that could be it. But the fact remains that I am a very good basket-shooter.
Just ask Iwanski’s family. A couple of years ago, we decided to play a game of Horse at his sister’s house. There were 5 or 6 of us playing—including Iwanski and his two brothers-in-law—and wouldn’t you know it? I beat ‘em all. I’m very proud of this. (Can’t you tell?)
But the reason I’m so good at shooting baskets is because I practiced a lot when I was a kid, sometimes until 10:00 at night. I remember vividly one hot July night when I decided that I was going to try to get as many baskets as I could before my parents finally told me I had to come in and go to bed.
So I stood out there for hours, shooting basket after basket, while it got darker and darker outside. Finally, my parents told me it was time to come in.
When I came in the house, I went right to my notebook, tore out a sheet of paper, and wrote “Carla got 40 baskets today,” dated it, and put it in my scrapbook. Wow. 40 baskets. That’s 80 basketball points. And for an 8-year-old girl on a hot summer night, it seemed like a huge accomplishment.
I wonder if my Mom still has my scrapbook from then. I would love to take a look at that piece of paper again and remember how easy it used to be to feel like I was a star.
It seems to me that as adults, we could all give ourselves more pats on the back than we do. We’ve all certainly accomplished much more than shooting 40 baskets.