Why you should(n’t) put a basketball under your shirt

It’s been a while since I’ve written for my blog. I’ve been busy with other things, and a bit lazy in my reading and writing habits. I recently started coaching a sixth-grade girls basketball team. I often have interesting conversations with these little eleven and twelve-year-old humans.

The other night at practice, I put a basketball under my shirt—because I am still twelve at heart—and walked around a bit, acting like I was pregnant (I used to do it when I was in high school, and it always got laughs back then).

The girls loved it, and they were saying things like, “Oh my gosh!! Coach is pregnant!”

One of the girls came up to me, put her arm on my shoulder, and said, “Soooo, who’s the father?”

I took the ball out of my shirt and said, “Oh, I’m not really pregnant. I’m not even married.” I didn’t love the way the conversation was going, so I decided to stop pretending.

The girl said, “So, you are a virgin?”

I felt my face turn red, and I was shocked by her question. She’s eleven, maybe twelve, and she asked that question. I don’t remember being aware of such things when I was that age. I panicked a bit and didn’t think to deflect the question or try to change the subject, so I said, “Yes, I am.”

She just accepted it, and dropped her line of questioning. My face felt as if it was burning, so I could tell it was really red. One of the girls noticed, and said, “Coach really is pregnant! She’s turning red!” The first girl told the group (or at least those within in earshot) what I’d said about being a virgin.*melts into the floor from embarrassment*

As embarrassed as I was, I like to think it was worth it because maybe it put a little seed in some of those girls’ heads that not having sex until you are married is a good thing. I have no idea what kinds of messages they are getting from their parents, school, or peers; maybe that interaction was important to them on some level.

Being around kids is exciting because you cannot predict how any interaction is going to go. It’s always variable, and the ensuing conversations are typically entertaining. I feel a lot of responsibility when I am around kids, not just to babysit or coach them, but to be a positive influence on their impressionable, precious lives.

I think kids are the best, and I hope they see me as a role model as well as a good coach.

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