This girl may be little, but she has athletic ability. BIG athletic ability.
She loves it. She thrives on it. She is good at it.
Anyone who sees her in a bathing suit says "She should be a gymnast"... or "She should be a swimmer"...or "She should be a diver."
Anyone who sees her *move* invariably comments about her athletic ability.
She has amazing body control. Whether it is on a ripstick, or playing tag or kick-the-can, or on the soccer field, or now...the basketball court.
Now this post is being written by a person/mom/Christian who has never understood why people play much sports. Why spend time on that? What is the point?
At the risk of sounding (very) cheesy...watching LK reminds me of the quote from Eric Lidell (the amazing athlete who was a Christian, an olympian, and later a missionary to China...the subject of Chariots of Fire): "When I run, I feel His pleasure." It is a pleasure to watch her. He made her like this...she is in her element when participating in athletics.
When LK was six y.o. and kicked an out-of-bounds soccer ball back to the team that kicked it out, the coach immediately said "I want her on my team." (He coached teams year older than LK, but he moved her up and got his wish for the next 4 seasons. She was 7 and playing with 10-14 year olds.)
Lily Kay has messed around shooting baskets in our driveway since we got a basketball goal five years ago, but it has never been anything formal. She didn't even know the rules to basketball before her team started practicing last month.
But during the first basketball game she ever played (3 weeks ago now), the coach of the girls' traveling team spotted her, talked with LK's coach (and then us) and said he wanted her to start practicing with the traveling team.
Lily Kay is the smallest one on her team, but that matters not one little whit. She isn't the player parked under the goal catching rebounds, but her bounce passes and crossover dribble moves are a beautiful thing to watch. (It feels weird to call something like that beautiful, but it truly is.)
Lily Kay really astounds me with her ability to be aggressive and not afraid to "get in there", but with absolutely no malice or impatience or anything negative that might normally go along with that. At this point, she is absolutely lacking any of the negative traits that competitive sports bring out. (But you know we will definitely be watching that.)
I am so grateful for the coach the Lord matched LK up with for her first exposure to basketball. Coach W is a homeschooling father-of-five, and happens to be one of the gentlest men I've ever met.
And LK has been getting plenty of one-on-one instruction here at our house also...by Papa.
A former high school and college basketball player, Papa is more than a little interested in LK's basketball goings on.
It has been so neat to witness the gentle way Papa has of mentioning and working on areas that LK is still learning about (like keeping your back to your opponent, and one arm out, when you are the one in possession of the ball).
LaoLao (also a former high school player...and a short one like LK) has also helped LK with some practicing.
Dad has actually been the one taking LK to all her practices (except the first one, which I took her to), which is fun for them to do together, and a blessing for this mama! (Sitting through the practices and games severely tests all of 18-m.o. Abigail's abilities...and ours)
When we went to LK's first game in the town next to us, as we walked into the 80-year old gym, Dad quipped, "The last time I was in this gym, I scored 33 points."
I love that we're all getting to do this together.
But right here and right now, LK is supposed to be doing this...and we are thoroughly enjoying watching our Little Kay in her element, doing what the Lord gifted her to do.