March Madness

17 March 2012

... in which I learn a valuable lesson from my 18 year old brother.

My brother, Paul, is a Senior in high school and plays basketball.
I'm no sporty spice Simon Cowell but from my professional perch I can tell you that his team is good. His team is really, really good. At first glance, the competition might (and stupidly does!) doubt their skill because they attend a smaller Christian school but what they lack in size and name brand they most certainly make up for in their shooting precision, speed, ability to play as a cohesive unit and their obvious dedication to the team. There is seldom a week throughout the entirety of the year that they aren't practicing, conditioning (via the hell that is Insanity), and practicing some more. I know their incredibly committed coach and very supportive parents don't hurt their success but these kids are impressive in their own right.
Again, I'm not a big sports person (hellllllo nightmares starring middle school P.E. kickball) but am always blown away every time I have the chance to watch Paul's team play. They've won the state championship three years in a row and were expected to do the same this year this past week.

Not surprisingly, they made it to the final championship game. The game was too close for comfort up until the very last seconds. I don't know the exact details of what went down -- but I do know that with just a few seconds left, Paul's team had the ball and the lead.  They threw the ball in, but, horror of horrors--the scorekeeper's didn't start the clock!  The other team had a chance to steal the ball, drive down the court, shoot, and be fouled.  With essentially no more time left, the other team made two free throws to win by one.  March madness indeed.
(sports translation typing provided by Simon)

Would the other team have even been able to shoot if the clock was running as it should have?
Who knows.
I have to admit that the thought is tempting and extremely frustrating for even removed, uninvolved, and uninvested big sister me.

Yet when I asked Paul several days later what his thoughts were on the game, fully expecting understandable anger at the situation, at the refs, at the timekeepers I was surprised and humbled by his response:

"We have no one to blame but ourselves, it shoudn't have been that close in the first place."

Fancy that.
Someone taking some personal responsibility for a situation that conceivably could've been blamed on several blameworthy factors.

In that moment, I looked down at my undressed and unshowered self. I blamed the needy kids.
I looked at Julia throwing a tantrum over her frustration and confusion that is -does she or doesn't she get a baba?'- that is completely my own indecisive fault. I blamed her. 
I looked at Sebastian who was in desperate need of a diaper change and a bath. I blamed helpless him.
I was in a truly foul mood. I blamed residency and Simon's impending overnight 14+ hour shift.
In that moment, I refused to take any responsibility for things that I was directly responsible for under my scrunched nose and angry brow.
I had no one to blame but myself, but I was blaming anyone and everything else.

Thanks for being the 18 year old class act that I can only strive to be Paul.
Thanks a lot.

*all photos stolen from Facebook without permission.


  1. cool! bummer with the final game though :(

  2. Your brother certainly sounds more mature than me, hopefully the b-ball is preparing him for his own potential future child rearing/wife having.
    His team sounds amazing! And I love that you gave Simon his due credit, Mike would have demanded as much for sure.

  3. What a wise thing to say. I can tell that will be one of those things that will stick with me for a long time. Thanks for sharing.

    Now, keep a stiff upper lip and all that nonsense. Give yourself some credit, you're doing some amazing work.

  4. Great post. It was really neat to hear there are good/mature teenagers out there, and a little challenge to be accountable. Love your blog... I have a 18 mo old and am due with #2 in two months so appreciate the everyday honesty with having 2 under 2.

  5. Honestly, the most poignant lesson to be learnt from all this...just give the kid her damn baba and try again when she's two. For pity's sake.

  6. Your brother is rad. Seriously. Rad. I hope he makes it big and little boys like mine can look up to him. We need more good role models.

  7. I pretty much always blame other people for stuff. It couldn't possibly be my fault, right?


    Add that to the list of things I need to change.

    I blame my thyroid.

    Dang it! Failed already.



Camp Patton © All rights reserved · Theme by Blog Milk · Blogger