This is the first high school girl’s basketball game of the year.
We played 3 hours away from home.
We played a team in a different district since it wasn’t a league game.
The girls did very well and we were proud of them.
No, we didn’t win.
Winning isn’t always the proof of a game well played.
The girls have improved a great deal from last year.
There are a few new faces and everyone seems excited about the way the team is shaping up.
The atmosphere of their team effort and constant support was encouraging to witness.
Yet those things were not the main change for me as I cheered throughout the game.
It was number 4.
She played with a lot of heart and put up the ball several times.
She gritted her teeth when she was fouled on and kept playing with all the muster and determination of the same #4 as last year.
Her brown ponytail and quick flight up and down the court was just a repeat of last year.
Her smile of encouragement as she reached the bench was just as broad as last year’s #4.
Yet with all these similarities the girl in number 4 wasn’t the same.
Our oldest girl wore number 4 last year and graduated at the years end.
This number 4 was her sister, a brand new freshman.
Our Bell is her own person.
Yet her love of the game, her determination to give her all,
and her skill are something she shares with her big sister.
So as I both joy and sorrow in the change, I smile.
That’s our girl.