Otto’s basketball season is coming to an end. We sat through two hours of me listening to the season recap and the season future and the Otto chaque minute when-is-this-done ping to fall upon French Punch, peanuts and gossip. The Mayor will tell you, ” attention, le punch.” But with the “poonch,” a great evening of patient locals chatting to me about things I need to know unfolded. The basketball information was absorbed so we could all move on to laughter and food. After my third plate of vittles ( that was after munching on apero nibbles ), I sipped some 2006 Bordeaux and was curious about the “love corks.” After a few “I don’t know”s, one gal said it was a recycling campaign that somehow collected bottle tops and donated to the handicapped. And all I could see was love corks. I asked my neighboring diner if he had any love corks to donate. He grabbed his belly and said “I ate my love corks” or “my belly is a love cork” or “you crazy American, why don’t you speak better French.” After a few plates of cheese and dessert, coffee and a sip of Armagnac, I left with great motivation to improve my French and a new fascination with love plugs. Oh and the basketball team did very well this year.
Otto had two basketball matches this weekend. Our village has a great spirit for this sport. Otto is tall for his age which everyone loves. His skills are new, but this weekend he looked stronger. He passes well and works with his team to keep the ball within scoring distance. Today, he was on fire.
Après, we had a typical Gascon Repas. Which is a quick apero followed by a meal, then cheese, then dessert, then coffee. Nothing fancy, but great chats and giggles with a sequenced meal. I love this about France. And of course the kids tore it up at the “baby-foot” table.
Otto participated in a département – wide basketball match. Basketball is called “basket” (say that with a French accent if you will). It turns out of all the departements, in all the villages, in all the world, we walked into a strong basketball program. With my tall American boy, who is genuinely interested in basketball, he signed up and has enjoyed each week and each match.
As his parents, we try to support his motivation. He totally loves basketball as do his teammates. The event was huge. The kids were amazing. At no point in the all-day event, did the kids run around and get all silly. Each one was practicing passing or shooting or starting their own pick-up game when they weren’t playing a match.
There were ten basketball courts set up with one grand buzzer to rule them all. They did two buzzers per game. Then the dude with the microphone would tell everyone where their next match was. The event smoothly progressed until everyone was done. At the end, the results were announced. Our village took second place! Go team! We were all very excited. Otto got his first medal which is up on his wall by his “Fete du Mini Basket” t-shirt.
Zélie, our little runner, walker, dancer, year-and-a-half-old team supporter, put up with stroller jail and managed to enjoy Otto’s event. She’s becoming too familiar with her sibling’s sporting events.
Zélie at the all-day Basketball Tournament (grabbed this one for you, Josh).
Zélie at the all-day Fencing Tournament.