Last summer at the one-hour-a-day basketball camp for young boys, Whistle won a dribble knock-out challenge. All the boys dribbled basketballs for as long as they could, protecting their own ball while trying to knock the other boys' balls away from them. He wasn't big on hitting other boys' balls away, but was very good at keeping his own protected and bouncing.
His reward for winning was to attend a high school varsity game as water boy, and last night was his special night. He's been so excited all week he could hardly stand it. He woke up every day asking what day it was. On Thursday evening, he repeatedly told me that after school (Friday) he wasn't going to be hungry (so we could skip supper and go on to the game). Thursday night in his prayer, he prayed for his favorite player and hero, our neighbor Adam. [Side note: Adam's mom works at Whistle's school, and eats lunch with him daily because of his feeding issues. She encourages Whistle to eat so he can be strong like Adam, and in his prayer, Whistle also prayed for Adam to "eat healthy food, like pizza."]
On Friday, we realized that the evening schedule was 4 games, and Whistle's game would be late - probably 9 o'clock! For a guy who is drooping at 7 o'clock - that wasn't good news. We tried to get him to nap after school, but he was waaay too excited to even relax. We ate a quick supper, and headed up to the school, because he was certain we were going to miss the game, and we might as well be watching games as be at home being anxious about it. We saw the last half of the JV Boys game and all of the Varsity Girls game, before the Varsity Boys game. He began to get cold feet at the end of the waiting time, but when Father took him around the gym to meet the assistant coach, he was ready and willing to go to the locker room, and didn't look back.
I wondered what the pre-game was like in the locker room, since my only experience is seeing sports movies and videos (and lots of them, since they're Hugger's favorites). We saw the coach peek out to see if it was time, and then the team came running out onto the floor for their warm-up. Right behind them was Whistle - with a water bottle in his hand and a huge smile on his face, running right behind them. He got to mid-gym and stopped, looked around, and saw the assistant coach coming to get him. Oops - he was supposed to be *walking around* the gym floor with the coaches, instead of *running onto* the gym floor with the players! As to the locker room happenings, the coach later commented that "He's quite a little dancer!" and when we got home, Whistle told me that when Adam turned on the country music while they did their stretches, he danced. Some guys would stretch along with them, but not Whistle - he danced to the music!
The game itself was great - except for the final score -- they lost by 3. Whistle followed all the action, cheered, and only at first stood up for the team huddle, just in case they needed him! It was a night he will remember for a long time!
And today -- we went to Hugger's basketball game this morning, and Whistle has been napping for over 3 hours to recover from all the excitement.