Tag Archives: friends

Wet Dunks

My younger son is ready to air dunk!

My younger son is ready to air dunk!

The Summer Games have begun in our backyard pool. Usually that means that danger is the number one ingredient, because these made-up sports always involve males. I’ve told my two sons and their friends to be careful, avoid the pool edges, and please don’t get blood in the pool. So far, so good.

This summer my younger son and his pal Jared have been hanging out in the pool. Recently they made up a new game to quell the boredom: Pool dunking.

We have a poor man’s pool basketball goal that floats. So the kid and Jared decided it would be fun to take a running start with a small basketball and try to dunk it in the ever-moving, inflatable hoop before landing in the water.

This gives new meaning to the term “jump shot!”

Gotta love the wink!

Gotta love the wink!

Jared opted to go for style points on this dunk.

Hovering in the air

Hovering in the air

Looks like a certain two-pointer.

Note where the ball is

Note where the ball is

Score . . . and splashdown!

Looks like a perfect take-off.

Looks like a perfect takeoff.

The kid decided to go for power.

Closing in

Closing in

Did he mistime his leap?

Stretching it out

Stretching it out

Not at all! It was a splashy two points.

I guess when you’re too short to dunk on a regulation 10-foot dry basketball hoop, the little version in the pool is a great way to boost your ego. Plus it wasn’t dangerous . . . for a change. My blood pressure appreciated that!

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Graduation Support

The motley crew: The Mister, Uncle Mike, #1 son, Aunt Carol, me, and Grandma surround the kid after his graduation last Saturday.

The motley crew: The Mister, Uncle Mike, big bro, Aunt Carol, me, and Grandma surround the kid after his graduation last Saturday.

It was a given that his loving family would be cheering on my younger son at his high school graduation last Saturday at the Toyota Center. The Mister, our older son, and I were joined by my mom (who flew in from Chicago), as well as the Mister’s siblings, Carol and Mike.

Best disc golf buddies: Glen, the kid, and Eric

Best disc golf buddies: Glen, the kid, and Eric

But adding to that support crew were two men who have been special in my son’s life for several years, Eric and Glen. They are his best friends, adult division.

Eric advised my son at the 2010 amateur disc golf worlds in Ohio.

Eric advised my son at the 2010 amateur disc golf worlds in Ohio.

We met Eric in December of 2007 at my son’s first disc golf tournament (the kid was 12 years old). They played on the same card in the first round. Since then they’ve made great doubles partners, winning the 2011 Amateur World Doubles championship, as well as good traveling companions and friendly adversaries.

Glen and the kid walk together during a tournament.

Glen and the kid walk together during a tournament in 2010.

Glen came into my son’s life in 2009, and it seemed like they instantly bonded. Their mutual love of sports and ability to not take themselves seriously enables them to always have fun together.

I’ve trusted Eric and Glen to take care of my beloved baby boy on numerous occasions, including when Glen and his wife Kelly toted the kid to and from Michigan, playing disc golf along the way. It’s wonderful how both men can be terrific mentors and friends for my young man in their own separate ways.

The Mister and I really appreciated that both of them took time out from their busy lives to attend our son’s graduation. We know it meant a lot to the kid that they were by his side during this important milestone.

It does, though, make me wonder one thing: Who will miss my son most when he’s at Sam Houston State this fall? Me or Eric and Glen? I know the kid definitely will miss them, too.

And maybe even me!

Friends Forever Side By Side

The kid oversmiles with Cody 10 years ago.

The kid oversmiles with Cody 10 years ago.

When we moved to our master-planned community near Houston almost 17 years ago, one goal the Mister and I had was for the boys to develop lifelong friendships.

Then we found out that many of our neighbors worked for oil companies. Which meant they could be here one day and quickly gone the next. Sigh!

Elementary school choir buddies

Elementary school choir buddies

Fortunately for us, our younger son met a boy, Cody, in kindergarten whose parents planned to stay put. In first grade, he and Cody bonded over a mutual love of sports. They played on several rec teams together during elementary school and always enjoyed each other’s company.

Cody was a conquistador to the kid's Sam Houston in the fourth-grade program.

Cody was a conquistador to the kid’s Sam Houston in the fourth-grade program.

Their friendship continued to blossom in middle school with both of them on the football team.

Cooling down after track practice freshman year

Cooling down after track practice freshman year

In high school, they shared tales of exhaustion and exhilaration on the cross-country and track teams for one-ish seasons. Cody also played football his freshman year, which was cut short when he suffered his first concussion.

Both boys’ high school journeys took unexpected and unwelcome detours during their sophomore and junior years, my son’s due to anxiety, and Cody’s because of his second concussion while on a Boy Scout trip. Both sets of parents worried and wondered if they would even walk across the stage at graduation.

Cody and the kid, as always, side by side

Cody and the kid, as always, side by side

Last Sunday we were privileged to watch Cody culminate his years of scouting and overcome his head traumas to become an Eagle Scout at his Court of Honor. What an awesome achievement! We’re so proud of him.

Cody and our son will graduate Saturday afternoon. After that, Cody will attend Texas A&M–Galveston.

Even though they won’t be at the same colleges, there’s no doubt in my mind that these two lifelong friends will always keep in touch. I’m sure that when they do get together during school breaks, that they’ll still be side by side.

One Bird Temporarily Leaves the Nest

Chase and my older son in their usual videogame-playing positions.

Chase and my older son in their usual videogame-playing positions in our game room.

This will be a bittersweet summer for our family. Chase, my “third son,” just moved to the Boston area until mid-August for his computer internship with TripAdvisor.

The boys played Super Smash Brothers Brawl.

The boys played Super Smash Brothers Brawl.

Of course, we’re thrilled that Chase earned such a wonderful opportunity. We know how important the experience will be to his career once he graduates from Rice University.

But, oh, how we will miss seeing him most evenings, as he pals around with my sons. The three of them are like brothers.

We miss those sparkling green eyes already!

We miss that mischievous smile already!

Our family will be incomplete for awhile. Keep in touch, Chase!

Baby Boy Basketball

Zach focuses on tough defense.

Zach defends.

With my focus these days squarely upon my high school senior and his final-year activities, I must admit that I’ve totally forgotten about his school’s underclassmen.

Specifically, my friends’ baby and almost-baby boys.

So when my pal Beth told me that her middle son, Zach, was playing his last home basketball game last Saturday morning, I decided to put my Nikon 85mm lens on my Nikon D700 and head to our high school’s gym to catch some freshmen action.

Matt shoots.

Matt shoots.

When I walked in, I saw my long-time friend Donna. I checked out the court and, sure enough, her baby boy, Matt, also was playing. Cool beans! Two for the price of . . . well, none, because there’s no charge to watch subvarsity teams.

“Not in MY house!” Matt blocks a shot.

“Not in MY house!” Matt blocks a shot.

Not having shot indoor sports since volleyball last October, it took me awhile to adjust to the fast-paced flow of the game. Fortunately, the lighting was pretty good (ISO 1000), and the company (Beth at first and then Donna and her two daughters) was great.

Carter tries for two points.

Carter tries for two points.

After the game, I walked into the hall, where I saw more parental friends: Diana and Charles (our very own royalty!). Sure enough, their baby boy, Carter, would be playing in the B game. So I figured I might as well stay and continue to snap away.

Clayton beasts it up on defense.

Clayton beasts it up on defense.

As I did, who should I see but yet another bud, Mary S. Her #1 son is Jared #1, one of the kid’s besties. She was there to watch her baby boy, Clayton. Once again, I could shoot two birds with one camera, while sitting between Diana and Mary.

Carter contests the layup.

Carter contests the layup.

Of course, for me the best part of the morning was the gabfest rather than the (rebound) grabfest. It’s nice to share some time and thoughts with a great group of gals. Getting decent photos of their handsome, young men? Icing on the proverbial cake!

Double-Glen Bowling

Glive smiles at his mom.

Glive smiles at his mom.

While it was wonderful that my older son’s friends joined him for bowling last Saturday, another special guest really made the Mister and I smile: Little Glen.

The Glens bowl . . . and ended up with a spare!

The Glens bowl . . . and end up with a spare!

My younger son’s best high school buds all were busy, so he invited his adult bestie, Glen, to join us. I was thrilled, because his wife Kelly and Glen V (aka Glive) tagged along. We always enjoy our times together (we just can’t help but love that tiny cutie!).

This was no exception.

High five!

High five!

Little Glen, who turns two next week, preferred checking out the lane action with his dad rather than chatting with us. So big Glen helped him roll the ball down the lane a time or two.

That's my boy!

That’s my boy!

It was so exciting when that slow-roller finally knocked down a pin, resulting in a spare!

Bowling for two

Bowling for two

Other times, IV balanced V as he played. It didn’t seem to affect his game at all. In fact, it added to a precious memory that made my son’s 21st birthday even more special.

It figures that little Glen would continue to bowl us over!

One-Word Wednesday

Making an indoor totem pole are my two sons and my “third son,” Chase.

My older son and my “third son,” Chase, pile on my younger son last Sunday.

Totem (pole)!