NB: A series highlighting Harrison’s Make-A-Wish trip is forthcoming.
Last night Harrison did something he’d never done before: went to a basketball practice. From the time he could walk Harrison’s played football and baseball, but never basketball. His older siblings never played. I played as a kid, but nothing serious. But a few months ago he came home from school and said he wanted to play. Where did this come from?
Regardless, his first practice was the night of the BCS championship game, but he said he’d rather go to Miami and the game than go to practice. That’s a valid excuse, I think.
He was so excited. Had to have new shoes, new socks, new basketball shorts, and a dedicated basketball shirt. Regular shoes, socks, shorts, and shirt won’t work, apparently.
Obviously, I knew he’d be fine; he’s just an athlete. But he was nervous. He worried he wouldn’t be “good.” It is Upward basketball with fifth graders, did he expect all the other kids to play like LeBron?
After practice he was so excited for two big reasons. One, he did great. It was probably the shoes. Two, he has a good little team. Harrison is competitive; he wants to WIN at everything. That drive and determination has been a big help in his fight against cancer. But in sports, no one (even his dad) wants to win any more than Harrison. When he saw that he and the other kids all played well, he was relieved.
And dad was in awe of the boy who refuses to quit. I watched him doing lay-ups, shooting jumpers, and dribbling up and down the court and thought, “This kid just took chemo an hour ago and here he is competing on the basketball court.” He continues to amaze me.
And I should add that a year ago the doctors were distraught over Harrison’s refusal to go into remission. They had all but given up hope. We were suffering from fear and despair. And then came Gleevec. A year ago Harrison took his first tyrosine kinase inhibitor (and we heard of it for the first time). And what a difference that has made.