When my son made the basketball team as a sophomore in high school I thought it just might be the best thing for him. He was getting a bit chubby, definitely out of shape from too much Taco Bell, and he never exercised. Plus, he didn’t have very many friends. Little did I know how basketball would change his life.
As he ran, lifted weights, and practiced his way through senior year, transitioning from the junior varsity team to the varsity team, he was transfixed into a lean, mean, fighting machine with six-pack abs and the stamina to play and sweat through competitive games along with his pack of friends who, to this day, are still his bros and hang out here at the house almost every day.
And I – who had never been interested in any sports – ever – became a basketball mom. I rooted and hollered over the moms and dads at the games and slowly learned to love the sport more than I ever imagined.
And I fell in love with…the shoes.
No more Keds for me! I wanted the extreme cushion and comfort and stability of basketball shoes. And not women’s basketball shoes either. No, no no. It was the men’s basketball shoes that caught my attention. The way they enfold your toes and arches and ankles, creating a safe place for your feet to relax while riding a bike or walking or running around was exactly what got me hooked. Hooked on the high-top, extra-long laces, and delightful colors of the shoes that the big-time NBA guys stamped their names across in bright, bold script.
Then on Mother’s Day in 2016, my son bought me a pair of the coolest LeBron James basketball shoes he could find. In the brightest colors he knew I’d like. And it was the best Mother’s Day gift ever.
So as I slip my size 9-1/2 feet into my shnazzy LeBrons this Sunday, I’ll let out a loud “whoop” to my favorite basketball team ever. Go Warriors! May you win the NBA Championship in 2017!
Happy Mother’s Day to all you readers out there! Enjoy your kids no matter their age. I consider myself exceptionally lucky to have two of the best kids around.
Maddy McCray lives a hard scrabble life, working as a waitress at the Monte Rio Café in a little town on California’s Russian River. Abandoned by her mother when she was a teenager, then by her two worthless boyfriends, she is nonetheless grateful for the rustic cabin where she lives—and for Cheryl, the older and wiser waitress who watches over her while Maddy anticipates the birth of her baby.
Then one night Maddy goes into labor prematurely and loses her precious baby. The loss is almost more than the distraught 22-year-old can bear. A few days later she discovers a tiny infant in the dumpster behind the café. An abandoned baby, a baby no one wants, a baby who will wind up in a string of foster homes. But Maddy wants the baby. She names her Judith.
Maddy resolves to take the money in her tip jar and move to the Bay Area, where she can get a better-paying job and study to become a nurse, to be better than the things her momma said about her. But how can Maddy take care of little Judith, work and go to school?