Perils of Basketball

The stands at the old gym where my nephews were playing were comprised of big, long wooden benches, each about chair height.

Normally, I would've climbed all the way to the top, five rows up, but stepping up that high was bothering my 43-year-old knees that day, so I stopped at row 3 and sat down with my daughter.

The whole time, I felt very conscious of how high up we were and how my daughter seemed oblivious to the perils of walking along the benches. We had three games to watch, the first with the younger of my two nephews, then a girls game, then my older nephew would play. That's a long time to ask a 2-year-old to be still. I sat with her on my lap most of the time, but she would get bored and wiggle free. So I let her sit next to her cousin. Her squirming decreased but didn't disappear.

"Be still," I said several times. "You're gonna fall."

And midway through the third game, that was exactly what she did, right into the back of a couple women sitting on the first row. I screamed and scooped her up, checking her over to make sure she could still move everything.

As she cried, I fought back tears myself. Thankfully, she was and is still fine.

She's young enough, she'll likely have no memory of the fall a week from now. But I doubt the image of her lying there ever fades from my memory.


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