#siblinglove

Dear friends,

So I told you already I had a crap day this week, followed by another crap day. Then I didn’t post anything at all so I’m assuming you knew the crap was still flying.

And in the middle of the flying crapeze, also known as just another day, I took a second to check my Twitter account. I admit it. I was at work, you know working, and I checked my Twitter account. And look what I found:

And suddenly the crap melted away and all was right with the world again.

Parker was at our school’s conference championships playing tennis. Kate is the team manager. She was supposed to be texting me scores, but instead, they both were apparently stretched out like cats, napping in the sunshine. It made my heart swell. And when I turned back to my work, everything didn’t seem nearly as craptastic. Love has a way of doing that, you know.

(By the way, I later found out that Parker and his teammate took fourth place in doubles, while the team won 3rd in the tournament. Hooray for our boys!)

So here’s to sibling love. And Mamma love. It does a heart good.

With gratitude {for the fact that I’m tech-savvy enough to actually know how to use Twitter and stumble across these glimpses of my children’s lives},

Joan, aka @MayberryMagpie if you care to follow her

Before I run, I have to tell you the funniest tennis story I’ve heard in a long time.

In case you’re not a tennis fan, here’s a little background. If you’ve ever watched a professional match, you may have noticed there are people standing around the court doing all sorts of things. A few of those people are “line judges” meaning they decide whether the ball bounces in or out. In amateur tennis, there are no line judges. The players call the lines themselves. And since the player receiving the ball gets to judge his opponent’s shot (and, therefore, determine whether he wins the point or his opponent does), there is an incentive to cheat.

If you don’t play tennis, just imagine a basketball game where a man on defense is allowed to decide whether or not a basket counts. Yeah. Things can get crazy.

Now, I’ve played a lot of tennis and I can tell you 99.99% of players are honest. But every now and then you run across a cheater. Or a guy who understands gamesmanship. And don’t disparage gamesmanship. Some of the best players in the world are also great gamers. (Think McEnroe.) In fact, some amateur players advance far above their talent level purely on gamesmanship.

Mr. Mom is a former tennis coach and he always taught our kids to challenge a cheater by cheating him back. In other words, send an immediate signal that “Hey, I can play your game, too.” He also taught his players that kids make honest mistakes, and if you think your opponent made one, ask “Are you sure?” when he calls the ball out. (A lot of honest kids will correct themselves on a bad call when questioned.)

This tactic doesn’t work with the gamer, of course.

Anyway, apparently there’s a kid named T on Parker’s team who’s a pretty clever gamer. According to Parker, T recently hit a shot out by a foot. His opponent immediately shouted “Out.”

“Are you sure?” T asked politely.

“Yeah, I’m sure” said the opponent.

“Okay,” T said. “Hey, how about we play rock-paper-scissors to decide the point?”

“Uh . . . . . . okay” said the opponent.

And wouldn’t you know it? T won a totally free point on his bad shot that a blind man would’ve called out, all because he outwitted an inexperienced player who fell for the gambit and then was lucky enough to call scissors over paper.

Sometimes a little clever goes a long way.