Let me give you some background...
As you well know, Taylor and Parker are basketball nuts. They live for it. It is easily their favorite sport, and they spend hours and hours honing their skills. Taylor's big goal this year was to make the junior high basketball team. We knew that he could do it, but we also knew that it wasn't at all a for sure thing. He is only in 7th grade and the team is made up of mostly 8th and 9th graders.
So we prayed. Every day in family prayer and individual prayers we would ask that Taylor could make the basketball team. We even included it in a special family fast. He really, really wanted this. Monday evening, Jeremy took them to buy new basketball shoes, and Taylor picked his in school colors so they would match his jersey.
Parker tried out as well. Being in 6th grade, we thought that there was zero chance he would make it, but we wanted him to get exposure so the coach would have him in mind for next year.
Today was the day. I've been anxious all week because it was unclear exactly which day the team would be posted, but the boys were told yesterday that it would be posted today for sure. We sent Taylor with Graci's phone and told him to sneak in the bathroom and call us when he found out.
A couple of hours ago, I got the call. Taylor spoke in a sad, subdued voice. "Mom, I didn't make the team." My heart broke, and I tried to console him, but he just said, "I've gotta go."
I was so, so sad. I love that kid so much. He is such a good kid and it had meant so much to him.
Fifteen minutes later I got another call from the same phone. This time it was Parker. He also sounded subdued (likely from trying not to get caught with a phone) and said, "Mom, I'm not kidding here. I made the team." WHAT??!!! How could that be? I couldn't even be happy for him because I knew that Taylor would be DEVASTATED that his younger brother made it and he didn't. I asked Parker if he was serious (nobody, including him thought that he would get on b/c of his age) and he said, "I promise, Mom. Can't talk right now. Bye."
I burst into tears.
I know that sounds harsh-- not being excited for Parker. I assure you I love him every bit as much as Taylor. But the unjustness of it all just killed me. Parker was happy to be on the super league team he is on with his best friends. He shines-- he's super talented-- and wouldn't have been disappointed not to make the team. Taylor didn't have a back-up plan. His team from last year dissipated and he didn't try out for another team, hoping that he would be on the school team. It had meant so much to him, and now Parker made it instead. AGH.
I tried calling Jeremy over and over but he didn't answer. I called my sister, Leslie, and just cried and cried to her on the phone. In the meantime, Jeremy called me back. The first thing he said was, "Hon, just so you know-- you are on speaker phone and Jes (his boss) is listening. (He had just gotten a new phone and was still trying to figure it out.) So I try to tell Jeremy about the whole thing without crying (I wasn't successful) because his boss was listening. Jeremy was STUNNED. He just kept saying, "No, no, no!" over and over. He was as sick as I was. We wondered if maybe the coach had mixed up the names. We wondered if he just really needed a point guard (Parker's an excellent one) and he had enough shooting guards. I asked him what to do, and we decided I should go check Taylor out of school so he could come home and deal with it all without his friends around.
I drove up to the school and checked him out. As he came walking outside where I was waiting, his face looked inquisitive. I put my arm around him and said, "I just thought you might like to get away from school for awhile to deal with everything."
A slow smile crept across his face.
"OHHHHHH. That's why you checked me out. Um... Mom? It was a joke. I made the team."
ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!!!!!!!!! I had just spent the last half an hour crying my eyes out (I have swollen eyes to prove it) trying to figure out how the world would ever be right again for our Taylor. And he PRANKED me!
I didn't quite know whether to hug him or punch him in the gut. So I did both. (:
He sheepishly said, "So now that I'm checked out, can I go home and watch Sports Center?"
Um, no! You can go home and clean my kitchen! And that's exactly what he's doing right now, the little twit. Parker can have the toilets. (;
I love those two big stinkers!
Oh, and Parker DID make the team! I'm so very proud of them both!! (: