Written by: Kira Montuori
We couldn’t find the shorts. The shorts that matched the jersey. The shorts that matched the jersey that were part of the uniform for the first official game of basketball season.
Stop the clock. Sound the horn. Blow all the whistles.
For my 10 year-old daughter… this was devastation. Like “I’ll just quit. I wasn’t that great at basketball anyway.”
Quit… WHAT?!? You can’t just quit. Life is full of losing stuff. For me in particular, it’s an everyday thing and mostly... it’s my mind. You can’t quit.
But I get it. It’s the first game. So, for three hours, I turned my house upside down. I found 100 other things I didn’t know were missing but no uniform shorts.
Fatigued, frustrated and first pre-game defeated, I shared the bad news with my daughter. But, I also shared the good news that I had two other really great (in my mind) options:
- Wear your twin brother’s game shorts from last year that had a similar design although in a darker shade... OR
- Wear your youngest brother’s shorts that although they are a size 3T, they match to the hot diggity-dog T.
She headed to my room crying and swearing off basketball forever. Busted.
I gave her a few minutes before heading into my room. I found her tucked under my covers. With tears rolling down her face and falling off her chin, she said: “I really want to play but I’m afraid of the judgement.”
Oh baby. Momma’s. Heart. Breaking. I sat right on the edge of that bed and told her: “I know exactly what that feels like.”
I mean…don’t we all? Is there a woman you know that at some point did or didn’t do something because of the blessed “judgement”? Please, for all of the love, tell me it isn’t just me.
So I shared with my daughter the purpose of judgement.
Judgement is a fool. It is meant to hold people back, sidetrack them from doing what they love and dim their light. Judgement is heavy and it’s like carrying bricks in your backpack and you can’t fly carrying bricks.
And then I looked my baby girl right in her big beautiful brown eyes that shine like the clearest night stars and told her… “And YOU were meant to fly.” (It was a very 'nobody puts Baby in the corner' parenting moment for me.)
But it worked and she did it. She put on those 3T shorts (thank you sweet Jesus for making a 3T basketball short that has the length and elastic for this 'half-court buzzer beater' to even have a chance) and she balled like a mini Maya Moore (really mini…3T mini).
I imagine myself having conversations like this with my daughter throughout her life because I’m still having them with myself and with those close to me. Confidence is a journey and we all still need reminders. I think that’s why we have sisters and friends and coaches and teachers and people who live to lift others up.
So for my daughter, for myself and for all of you…
Ditch the bricks, shine your light and spread those wings!
Hugs and LOVE!
Kira is a Kansas City wife, mom of four, storyteller + author of the blog www.middlemoments.com