Last time, I told you all about what I left behind. Today: what I discovered. This post is all about the fun stuff I found. The next couple posts will cover what I learned about life and some themes that stayed pretty consistent over these two years. Eventually, I’ll get to the basketball education. I learned over these two years that the basketball stuff is great, but what I learned about everything else was more important…relationships, life, enjoying life, giving back, and being uncomfortable.
First, the fun/funny stuff. I learned about facebook games. I had been a staunch opponent of Facebook games until I was introduced to Sim City.That’s the game where you try to build up your city and accomplish all these goals and you send annoying requests. One of the saddest days in my time at Whitewater was the day that Facebook shut down Sim City.
I told you last week that missing my kids was one of the worst parts about being away. Well, did you know there are kids in Wisconsin too? And not only are there kids, but they’re pretty amazing. When I interviewed with Coach Carollo, she said it was a family atmosphere. When I showed up for camp and her three kids were running around, I realized she wasn’t kidding. The Oldest is wise beyond her years. That probably comes from having 23 older sisters at a time. Then there’s The Middle Child. He is the quiet little one that hangs out in the background, but has the sweetest heart. It’s been crazy to watch him these two years. He went from the kid that wouldn’t even look at you to the big time kindergartener. The two of us share some things in common. We don’t mind hanging in the back and the biggest thing is that we both love Legos. This kid is a legit aficionado. His collection is awesome. The Youngest One is a really amazing boy. He’s like the energizer bunny. Seriously, he never stops. We like the same movies and I laugh when he’s naughty. It’s perfect. I’m not sure these children will ever know what they did for me these two years. Whenever I was having a rotten day, I could count on going to pick them up from school or going to babysit to make it better. They are quality entertainment. They also helped me improve my name calling vocabulary and gave me a great reason to go to the movie theatres when a new animated movie came out.
Something special happened my second year in Whitewater. Coach’s parents sent their old piano out…which meant that someone had to give The Oldest piano lessons. I am in no way, shape, or form a qualified piano teacher. In fact, I was probably one of those students a serious piano teacher wouldn’t want…never did my theory book or practiced my scales or wrote down my practice times. I just played because I loved it. I practiced what I wanted when I wanted, then just showed up for practice and passed all my songs. So it’s really funny because I can always tell when The Oldest hasn’t practiced her scales. She pulls the whole, “Man, I just did this a minute ago.” I never get on her about it, but I laugh to myself because I know I said the EXACT same thing.
I also discovered some things unique to Wisconsin. We can start with cheese curds. I was really apprehensive about these at first, but man they are good. Next, the Green Bay Packers. You’ve seen them on TV and some of you are fans from afar. But until you’ve been in Wisconsin for football season, I’m not sure you really get it. Like, when I would go to church on Sundays, I would be in the minority without a Packers jersey. And if the Packers lose (which seemed to happen more often than normal these two years), just prepare yourself to walk in the office the next day. It is noticeably quieter and there are more recaps than you could hear on SportsCenter. The other team in Wisconsin is the Brewers. Now, we all know they are no good, but have you heard of the racing sausages? If not, you have missed out on a great form of entertainment. They provide in-game entertainment at some of our football games, and I’d almost go just to see those goofy looking things race.
There are a million funny stories I could tell you, but for the dignity of everyone involved, I have chosen to abstain. My next post: what I learned about life. Stay tuned.