Photo by http://listofsports.com/basketball
So I need help coming up with a new word and I thought maybe you could help me.
Here's what happened.
Last weekend, my son played in the second basketball game of his life at the local YMCA. He wore his vibrant yellow YMCA t-shirt.
SIDE NOTE: Why can't youth sports organizations get it together? Why can't they partner with Old Navy or something and get kids' sports uniforms sized properly? Why must our kids all look like recipients of the tall kid down the block's hand me downs while on the court?
To my point, my son's sleeves were too long and wide, so he spent the bulk of his time trying to roll them up ala Danny Zuko. (CUE: "I don't know why I ever loved you Danny Zuko!" - my all time favorite line from Grease. I realize musical theatre references have no business in a post about kids' basketball, but I am who I am).
Anyway, he was so distracted by his Hulk Hogan sleeves, that a Dad sitting next to me actually leaned over and said, "next time you should send him with a pack of cigarettes so his sleeves stay rolled up." He had a point.
Convinced my son was so consumed by his over-sized jersey, I would have bet he didn't even know which basket was his. But then he scored. Two points. Two glorious points. His first ever two points in a real game. (Games at the YMCA are real, shut up). I was shocked! I mean, sure I know he can do it at home, but here?! On a great big court, in a real live gym, with all these hyped up, overly competitive parents watching him?!
If you could have seen my face in that moment you might have confused me with Carol Burnett in Annie when she realizes that Grace is in fact referring to the "real Oliver Warbucks." (There I go again. Sorry, ok, I'm sorry).
Meanwhile, my son smirked a half smile on the down-low, long enough for me to notice, but quick enough for no one else to see. And while I was thinking about how watching seven year old basketball is waaaaaay more exciting than coach pitch little league (or, as a funny mom I know calls it, "watching paint dry,") it happened. My son was fouled.
Maliciousness didn't factor into it. It was innocent enough. Some other kid with distracting sleeves just made a mistake and now my child was facing the basket from the free-throw line.
I noticed my husband had gone a little pale. My heart had moved up to my ears. We grabbed hands. And then in a swoosh it was over. The ball went in the basket. (I actually did take a video of this moment - with my free hand - but it is honestly so embarrassing I can't post it here. Suffice it to say, when the ball went in, I screamed and dropped the phone. End of video).
And here's where I need your help. In my time on planet earth, I haven't yet experienced this feeling. What is this moment called? This moment when your child achieves something - a simple something, let's be fair - but something nonetheless that surprises you. Maybe even thrills you. While I sweat through my mom jeans on the side lines, my little son remained cool as cuke, focused, and put the ball in the hole. All on his own.
Pride doesn't really cut it. Because I was proud of him before, and I'd have been proud of him if he'd missed, just for trying. Relief doesn't cover it, because nothing bad, other than momentary disappointment, would have happened had he missed. I would say the feeling was somewhere between pride and relief.
There must be a name for this feeling when your heart is outside your chest, on the free-throw line actually, and shoots and scores. There must be a name for this feeling, but I don't know what it is. Discovering a new feeling on the spectrum of emotions is uncommon at best, so I'd like to name this one in order to claim it as my own.
There's another game on Sunday, so I'll let you know if I figure it out. In the meanwhile, feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments below.