Saturday, February 11, 2012

Unconditional Love at the Free Throw Line

I took a walk around my “block” today – a big block that takes about 15 minutes at a good pace. I have an Omron Pedometer ( and my goal is to get a minimum of 4000 steps a day, 1800 of which are “Aerobic Steps”. This route – let’s check - gave me 1885 aerobic steps. It also measures calories burned and distance walked. I’m not doing very well at getting to the desired 10,000 steps a day… Here’s a book to help if needed: The Step Diet -

A father and daughter are taking turns shooting a basketball and the 10 year old tries from the same place her dad took is last shot – well beyond the free throw line. Her underhanded throw goes almost straight up in the air. Her dad, standing under the basket, deadpans, “No, over here.” She and I both laugh. There is nothing critical in his voice, and love comes through in the joke, that the daughter gets. Though she may not be confident in her basketball skills, it is clear she is confident in herself, because it doesn’t matter that she just completely missed. I am sure that confidence comes from her certainty that her father loves her.

Here’s the next amazing thing. She gives the ball to him for his turn. Maybe it’s a little girl’s thing about fairness – they are taking turns, she had her turn, now it’s his. What’s the big deal, you ask. If it were a boy, if it were me even, here’s what I would most likely say, “That didn’t count as my turn.” And I would try again. But she has no doubt whatsoever that her father will not hog the ball, will not play unfairly, will not even give her a lesson on how to be better! He takes his shot, makes it, and bounces it back to her to take her next shot from wherever she wants – which happens to be almost under the basket.

Now, you want to know if she makes the basket, don’t you? I have no idea, I was walking and I don’t look back. It doesn’t matter, it was about them being together, no pressure, just having fun!

By Heather J. Kirk

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