Sunday, October 31, 2010


It's interesting to watch Michael play basketball. Though he practices all the skills, when he's actually in a game, he rarely dribbles and rarely takes a shot at the hoop. I assume this is because he feels that his ball-handling and shooting skills are not as strong yet as, say, his skills in soccer. But does this mean he's not an asset to his team? Au contraire. He was a great defensive player in soccer, and he's starting to apply that to basketball by using his quickness to ... steal balls! In one of this weekend's two games, for example, he stole the ball from one of the opposing team's best players and quickly passed it to a teammate who converted it into two points! As I yelled from the stands, THAT'S YOUR POINT, MICHAEL!!!

Did wonders for his confidence, too! Apparently, he later told the coach that their team is more likely to win if he had more game time (laugh).

Anyway, my unbiased analysis is that both he and his team overall played much better this weekend than the prior weekend. But. But, they still lost both games (though, by narrower margins than the prior weekend's game, okay?). You should have seen Michael scowling in the car as we drove home. I kept complimenting him and he kept brushing me off. Finally, he succinctly and FIRMLY announced:


Fullstop. Thing is, we don't always win in life. Nor is the win vs lose binary always the appropriate perspective from which to view the results of the gods' weirdo sense of humor. But I didn't reply to his pronouncement. I have to take more time to consider how to address it.

Because I'm aware that his loathing of losing -- his competitiveness -- is one of the reasons he's a survivor from his past. Also a reason why he's done so well in overcoming the late start to his formal schooling (he detests the idea of being behind his peers). It's a quality that'll stand him well in the future.

But it's not always the apt perspective, of course. I just don't know yet how to address it when, by diluting the importance of winning, I'd perhaps dilute the basis to how he's so far lived--survived--so many elements of his younger life.

For now, here's a photo of him all sweaty -- but still muy guapo! -- right after the first game and chewing on the apple slices I cooked for him (recipe: take an apple, wash it, slice it into pieces and discard the core). Actually, even in this photo, you can see ... determination...

Of course, ultimately, he's just fitting his Dad's and Mom's personalities -- sigh: we are all apparently Type-As. And, frankly, I do not like to lose either. Fullstop.

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