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Son’s Court Time May Reveal His True Talent

By Coulter Fussell

My oldest child just missed the bus for the first time ever this morning due to an apparent overwhelming case of phone-scrolling. So  I am putting him on blast in my column for it. He tried to blame me because I “only gave a six minute warning.” 

I am of the school of thought that no warning from Mother, no matter the minutes, is necessary for a federally required recurring daily event affecting a person who is literally holding an alarm clock in their hand. But, hey, call me old-fashioned.

Speaking of old-fashioned, I just returned from a week of work in Charleston, South Carolina and, let me just say, that town has done well for itself. We in Water Valley might ought to think about getting an ocean and some mansions. They go over well with visitors and add a lot to the general aesthetic feel of a place. An oyster culture and important historical sites wouldn’t hurt either. But when it comes to public projects that highlight the individuality of a town, I guess there is no magic formula as when I took my children to Charleston all they wanted to do was eat at Chipotle. 

While away for a week I broke every single New Year’s resolution with a great amount of enthusiastic fervor and gusto but despite a good time was glad to return to my normal routine in Water Valley. This routine now includes taking my youngest child to his basketball games at First Baptist Church. 

This is our first year participating in the church basketball league and if I had known how funny it would be to watch children play actual, organized basketball games, I would have signed my kids up a long time ago. 

Let me start by saying that every single one of those children out there on the court are leaps and bounds better at basketball than I am. I’ve never even participated in a for-fun yard game of basketball. Mainly because I figured I was too short, so I never tried, but also because I know it would just be me getting continually dunked on by anyone else playing. And now that I have watched a whole bunch of short people play basketball I am confident that I made the right decision. 

Don’t get me wrong, there are some good players on the teams and the kids are having a great time and the coaches are patient, fun and kind. But I have definitely needed to tell my own kid that, while I’m no expert, it’s probably going to be easier to play basketball out there on the court if he runs with his hands OUTSIDE of his pockets or quits mindlessly twirling during time-outs or doesn’t take someone else’s free throws as an opportunity to practice the Moonwalk or unwraps the sweatshirt turban off his head. 

But it’s all a good lesson because sometimes in life the destined path is meandering. While walking a route that seems to go a certain way, one may be surprised to find what’s actually on the other side of the hill. What I’m saying is that sometimes it takes joining the church basketball team to realize you’re a mascot. 

I hope everyone had a good MLK holiday and I send deepest condolences to little Mason’s family, friends, teachers and the entire fourth grade.

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