Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Lesson

He awoke from his afternoon nap to a dreary, overcast sky. Nonetheless, a plan for the rest of the day was quickly crafted: a picnic at the playground followed by a game of football with Momma on the adjoining field.

At the field, another little boy, later determined to be 5-year-old Alex, soon wanted to join the football game. The Momma sat back, allowing her newly 3-year-old boy to enjoy throwing spiral after spiral with his new, older friend. 

Soon, though, a voice rang out: "Alex, it's 4:15. Time for your lesson."

The littlest guy of the bunch, the newly 3-year-old boy, ever the earnest and interested athlete, tagged along behind his new friend, to see where this adventure would take him.

Turns out, it took him to the tennis courts, along with two other 5-year-old boys.

The tennis instructor was ready for the lesson, and upon seeing the youngest athlete, quickly invited him to join. Seeing the smile that immediately spread across the young boy's face, the instructor made a quick trip to his car to grab an extra, pint-sized racket.

The next 45 minutes can only be described as a dream come true.

The first official lesson. The first formal, athletic instruction.

For the next 45 minutes, the littlest boy's Momma, and an 8-month-old cheerleader, sat alone, in the covered stands, and watched every single shot the youngest athlete took. Every great shot. Every missed shot. Every shot that soared over the net. Every shot that sailed to the adjacent court. 

There were drills at the beginning: Run laps around the court. Balance the ball on the racket. Jump over ball tubes. Hit volleys over the net. 

There were practice shots, from different distances from the net, repeated over and over for each of the lesson's participants.

And then, the lesson concluded with a doubles match. 

The score was close: 19 to 17, in favor of the littlest boy's team, with the game ending when the first team got to 20.

And then, the instructor hit the ball to the littlest boy.

And then, the littlest boy hit a perfect shot over the net, which sailed passed his older opponents' waiting rackets.

And then, the littlest boy won the game. 

Immediately, without thought or hesitation, his Momma, the only audience member to speak of, shot her arms in the air in victory, cheering out for her young son, her heart bursting with pride.

This was a beautiful moment. One that will not be forgotten. And not because of the countless pictures and videos that that Momma snapped throughout the lesson. But because it is forever etched in memory.

A little boy. A lesson. A dream come true. 

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