Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.
- Leo Buscaglia

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Supporting a Friend

     Today I went to a high school basketball game!  You see, a good friend of mine has a son whose life has been devoted to basketball since he was very little.  Between school ball, AAU, rec leagues and every other type of play, the family has spent countless hours in the car and in gyms over the past 10 or more years, bringing him to all sorts of practices and watching all sorts of games.  This phase is almost over though, as he's a senior in high school and his team is playing in the state tournament where any loss means the season (and his high school career!) is over.
     I had actually been intending to get to a game or two earlier this season to show my support, but one thing led to another and the season disappeared.  I figured I better get there now, before it's too late.  I sat with my friend and her family and her basketball friends (parents who've all been through the same experiences).  It was a fun game.  Her son's team won and he scored 18 points and grabbed at least 15 rebounds.  I was glad I made the effort to be there.
      This is another one of those places where reversing roles helps me to better understand the meaning of my support.  When my children were that age, it meant a lot for a friend to come to see my daughter dance or to see my son run in a track meet.  Whether the kids even knew my friends were there didn't really matter.  They were there for me as much as for my kids and I appreciated their show of support.  
     I suppose, at a certain level, we all want to know that others are thinking about us and are "in our corner."  While we often think of this when we're dealing with major life challenges (e.g., illness, injury, death of a family member,  loss of a job), it's just as meaningful when people share our joys with us (births, graduations, promotions, major accomplishments).  Sharing these experiences with friends and family help us to feel more connected.  It's what community is really all about.  I need to do this type of thing more often.

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