My mom is one of those moms, perhaps like many other moms, who has a dual role. At times, she’s the kind of mom who leads me to feel as though I’m king of the world. Other times, she’s the kind of mom who seems to believe that I should be tying my sneakers with velcro straps.
It’s a good mix, to be honest. Ultimately, it keeps me right about in the middle — never too high, never too low — and has led to my dual nicknames for her: Dreamcrusher, and Dreamweaver. Bottom line, she’s a great mom.
And today, I’m happy to report, she’s more of the Weaver. Here’s the e-mail I got from her this morning while I was in Florida, subject line “Roadtrip”:
I asked my 3rd graders if they thought you skipped a day of shooting in order to drive your dad to Florida. They said no, you wouldn’t miss a day. So I asked them how they thought you managed to do that. Here are their solutions:
- He put a small basketball hoop on top of the car. Then when he was driving he put his left hand out the window and threw the ball in the hoop and it went right in the back of the car.
- He went to Chuck E. Cheese and put tokens in and shot hoops.
- He superglued a hoop on the top of the car and sat on top of the car and shot hoops.
Thanks, Mom. Glad to hear they kept the faith. True enough, though we didn’t hit the 1,370 daily quota, we didn’t miss a day (kinda wish I’d thought of the superglue option), and here’s how the last four actually came to pass:
Friday, June 4: With the bags packed and ready for the drive south, got up early for the normal routine and made 1,500 in the driveway, for 291,007 down, 708,993 to go. Went to work, got home for some pool time with the kids, and left with Dad and Reggie the 20-year-old cat in the VW Beetle promptly at 6 p.m., destination Florida.
Saturday, June 5: After a night splitting up the driving, we arrived in Wilmington, North Carolina (yo, it’s Michael Jordan’s hometown!) at a little after 9 a.m., where we met The Beautiful Heth’s wonderful cousin Stacie at her supercool pad (outdoor shower … Hello!), played a little with her new iPad, then headed over the YMCA. There, with the help of her volleyball pal Natalie and the son of one of her teaching pals, T.J., we rolled through 2,000 in about an hour and 50 minutes despite the first of three less-than-stellar shooting days by yours truly. It made for a total of 293,007 down, 706,993 to go.
Thanks Stacie, Natalie, and T.J., and thanks to the folks at the Wilmington Y. After an incredible, 8-ounce burger at Capt’n Bill’s Backyard Grill (10 beach volleyball courts .. amazing!), Dad and I pointed the Beetle’s tires south and were back on the road.
Sunday, June 6: Having arrived in The Villages just before midnight on Saturday night (Dad hadn’t slept, incidentally, since waking up at 5 a.m. Friday), we both got a good night’s sleep before heading over to Dave and Linda Barry’s place. Dave Barry, one of my dad’s best buddies in the world (they taught and coached together in Sunapee for more than 25 years), is also one of the planet’s greatest people. My dad hasn’t been well for nearly two years, and has lived with us in Epsom for much of that time, so his return to his home in Florida was never a certainty until this week. In the meantime, Coach B has been regularly keeping tabs, taking care of my Dad’s place, and praying. So when we arrived at Dave and Linda’s house, Coach (who may kill me for saying so) wiped away a few tears after saying hello. Then he fired up the grill, and the four of us had a great lunch before heading to a nearby outdoor court.
There, we made two acquaintances: One, with a super-cool kid named Greg Robbins of Louisville who offered to give up his own shoot-around and help us with the rebounding; and two, with the biggest, baddest wind I’ve experienced since starting this project more than 200 days ago. Plus, it was hot. So despite the willingness of Greg (whose jumper is a thing of beauty, by the way) to go for as long as we wanted, the heat wasn’t agreeing with Coach B (who was just getting over being sick), and the wind wasn’t agreeing with me … so 600 was all she wrote (293,607 down, 706,293 to go). And it was a pretty time-consuming 600. Thanks for the help, Greg (remember to square up … see: Allen, Ray), and thanks for everything, and I mean everything, Coach B.
Monday, June 7: In the pixie-dust, Neverland, magical world where Hoops For Heroes lives in my mind, I show up alone and unannounced at a basketball court, anytime, anywhere, and someone like Greg is there, just waiting to help. But in the real world, as in Monday, post-thunderstorm, at the Lake Miona Recreation Center outdoor court in The Villages, there is no one but a female security guard, and she wants to know …
“You got an ID?”
I didn’t, of course, but she was kind enough to take pity on me and give me an hour or so of court time (“Next time, get a guest pass,” she told me.), which was just enough time to slog my way through the puddles to 500 made foul shots. Not sure I could have gone much longer, anyway. Once the storms passed, the humidity stayed and the sun came out, so the shoot-and-fetch thing probably wasn’t going to hold up. All good, though. Despite the low numbers Sunday and Monday, the grand total now stands at 294,107 down, 705,893 to go to 1 million made foul shots.
Thanks for all the weekend help, everyone.
I love you, Dad.
And thanks for the faith, Sutton Central School third-graders. Time to un-velcro my sneaks and get to bed.