“I got it, Eliav!”
“Oh my gd. Are you sure Mommy? You actually got it?”
If someone had told me before I became a mom that I’d be this excited about capturing an 8th grade basketball player in action, I would definitely have told them that their crystal ball needed some shining.
But, indeed, there I was gleefully turning the phone over to my 7th grader so that he could see that I had, really, captured THE DUNK.
It wasn’t just any dunk. It was Bronny James’ first dunk of the season, his first season on the 7-8 grade team at Crossroads School in Santa Monica.
And what, you might ask, were we doing at this game?
You might assume that we had come here to watch a nephew play, but you would be wrong.
It all started on the second day of our trip to Los Angeles to spend a wonderful week with family. My nephew happened to mention on this fortuitous day that Bronny James (the one and only, yes, LeBron James’ son) would be playing on the home court on Tuesday.
My kids were hooked. They begged and pleaded, and Josh and I looked at each other with expressions that said, “They have got to be kidding. Are we really going to spend our vacation time hunting down an 8th grade athlete?”
But while we pretended to question this idea, we both knew quite well that we wouldn’t pass up this opportunity. If Bronny played, and ohmygosh even more so, if LeBron happened to show up to watch his son play, we would be making some pretty wild memories for our kids.
And that’s how we ended up at a 7-8th grade Crossroads basketball game on a December afternoon. We thought that our presence might be noticed (since there aren’t any religious kids on either of these basketball teams, and who were those religious parents rooting for anyway?) but we scooted right into the stands.
“Which one is it?” I whispered to the kids, while trying to look cool and collected and, um, well like a parent of someone who might be playing.
“Right there, mommy, number 23.”
“And is…..” I started to say as the kids all cut me off. “Mommy, look across the stands. OH MY GD…..”
Yep, there was their idol, LeBron, hanging out at the game with his wife and adorable little girl.
It was hard to believe that we had pulled this off. We had already made plans for the following evening to go to the Lakers game for the once-in-a-lifetime chance to watch LeBron play.
And here they were, watching him in action, in person.
You know how it often happens that you buy a baby an expensive gift, and they enjoy the wrapping paper and box more than the actual gift?
Yeah, that was the experience of watching this free, middle school game, knowing that we would be at his dad’s game the following evening.
Fortunately, both the free wrapping paper and the actual gift were unimaginably awesome.
And the write up in the paper the day after Bronny’s game was equally stunning to the kids. It turns out this was Bronny’s first game of the season, and the kids couldn’t believe that they had been at an event that was covered by the press (both in the States and in Israel!).
Don’t worry – I definitely took this opportunity to point out to my children that I’m the coolest mom ever for putting up with these things.
But secretly, I loved every minute of the adventure.