This week, I witnessed my 10-year-old letting go of his usual social inhibitions as he dove right in to a basketball day camp. And it was pretty cool.
This week, we sent Maxon to basketball camp.
Sounds pretty routine for a 10-year-old boy. But for Maxon, it's anything but routine, as evidenced by the reactions from some of my family and close friends, who widened their eyes and questioned my honesty.
"Seriously?" asked my girlfriend.
"Indeed," I responded.
"Which one of his friends is doing the camp with him?"
Those who know my son understand how unusual this is. Where my younger son Ezra cannonballs right into the pool of childhood, Maxon stands at the edge, testing the water with his big toe. Ezra uses his legs before his head. Maxon uses his head before using any other part of his body.
At Pee-Wee soccer, 4-year-old Maxon spent more time on my lap than in the field. At T-ball, his favorite part was snack. When he was 8, he quit his Little League team after two weeks. I haven't signed him up for any sports since.
But a few months ago, he started asking about basketball. He took a basketball from his brother's room and practiced dribbling in the patio. At our shore house, he spent time on the court in the driveway shooting layups and free throws.
So last weekend, we signed him up for a week-long basketball camp. I drove him there Monday morning. We were late – which, like, never happens. The campers were already in a circle in the middle of the court, listening to one of the coaches.
Maxon trotted over and waved goodbye, and I got a little choked up, to be honest. Because this was the boy who sometimes took a half hour to warm up at a birthday party full of his preschool friends.
When I picked him up on the second day, he told me about the kids who passed the ball to him, about the six points he scored, about the friend he made.
For some kids, socializing and trying new things is simple. For others, it's work. I have one of each.
I don’t know what tectonic shift happened in Maxon, whether it was due to my excellent parenting, maturity or some other force. It doesn’t matter. It's pretty cool to witness your kid surmount something difficult, even if that something is as simple as basketball camp.