Neighbor Friday: Lost in Suburban Bliss

January 28, 2010

Hi Readers! TKW here! I am honored and thrilled to share the words of Gibby at Lost in Suburban Bliss with you today. Gibby is mother to Poonch and Chuckles and is in my small club of Most Excellent People. Sweet Gibs has been with me from the very beginning, when this blog was in diapers and Desitin. I know you’ll love her as much as I do!



Poonch is a perfectionist. If she knows that she won’t get something right from the start, then she wants nothing to do with it. Nothing.

As a parent, this is extremely frustrating.

For a child, this must be extremely frustrating as well.

I can’t seem to get across to Poonch that a 7-year-old is not expected to have perfected anything. I can’t even convince her that being almost 30 years her senior, I have yet to perfect anything. (Except making those break-n-bake sugar cookies. I have pretty much perfected that. Oh, and I am pretty good at making guacamole, too. But that’s about it.)

As Poonch’s parents, Hubby and I usually engage ourselves in a slow walk along the tightrope of encouraging Poonch to try something new vs downright pushing. It’s not easy, and many times we have fallen too far one way or another. Hopefully her insurance with her future employer will cover therapy.

Anyhow, a couple of months ago our park district sent out registrations for their winter programs. I like to sign the girls up in at least one activity because Chicago winters pretty much negate outdoor play. Poonch eagerly signed up for ballet but that was it. Not that there’s anything wrong with ballet, but let’s just say that the way Poonch does ballet doesn’t result in a whole lot of physical activity, which is what my aim was here.

Basketball, Hubby, a former varsity player, says. Sign her up for basketball. I laughed. I know Poonch, and I knew there was NO WAY she would sign up for basketball, a sport she has never played except for a couple of games of Horse with her pink basketball in our driveway. Not to mention, Poonch put the girl in Girly, and I don’t think a jersey and mesh shorts would go with her red-sparkle high-heeled (1/2 inch, people) shoes. Hubby insisted he could get her to do it.

Good luck, I said, and walked off to let them chitchat.

To make a long negotiation short, Hubby convinced her to try it, with about 20 reservations on Poonch’s part. When the first day rolled around, Poonch amazingly stuck to the deal. The first two sessions were just practice. The next session was an actual game. You know that picture everyone has in their mind of the little girl playing outfield and picking the daisies instead of participating in the game? Yeah, that was Poonch, basketball style. Jumping jacks underneath the wrong basket. Twisting the hair. Tucking and untucking the shirt. Waving to us in the bleachers, repeatedly. I think Hubby might have been a teensy bit perturbed, but I was just happy that she was out there. To not be afraid to try something different. She even seemed to be having some fun. Completely clueless to what was going on around her, but hey, so am I most of the day, so who am I to judge? I just want her to try new things.

Second game, Hubby is out of town. Chuckles and I wish Poonch good luck and then find our seats in the bleachers. I brought my camera so that I could video the game for Hubby. Poonch was much more into this game. She stayed with the ball. She guarded her person. She used her hands to guard, moving all around, getting right in that other girl’s face. Nice, I thought.

Camera stops recording for no reason. I look at it and see the error message: no more memory. Darn-it. Oh well. I got some great video of Poonch’s defense. That should be enough, or so I thought.

Wrong. Poonch’s team has the ball. They take it down the court. A boy passes it to Poonch. She catches it without bobbling. Her coach yells at her to shoot it. Her mouth falls open, her eyes lock in on the basket. She shoots. The ball goes in. Her team and coaches cheer. Two points for the team. More than just two points for Poonch.

If only my camera was working. NOT to get the basket, but to get her face, lit up with amazement and pride, smile as big as it gets, giggling with joy as she sought me out in the crowd, questioning did you see? Of course I saw. That face, that was the picture I wanted. That jumping back all the way down the court, that was the video I wanted.

Later that night I asked Poonch how she felt about the game. She told me how happy she was when the ball went in and how good she felt.

I don’t know if Poonch will keep playing basketball. Maybe she will, maybe she won’t. It doesn’t matter. I just hope the next time she gets nervous about trying something new, she will think about this. I hope she remembers how she felt when that ball went into that basket. After all, it’s how I feel every time I look at my little girl.


Isn’t she Most Excellent? I knew you’d think so, too. Thanks Gibby! A

Don’t forget to check out more awesome posts for Won’t You Be My Neighbor Friday over at The Never-True Tales

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