It has been such a joy to be grandparents for over 23 years already.
We do not have little ones any longer as all of them are either young adults or are approaching young adulthood at age 15 and 16..those are the two that we used to refer to as “the baby boys” for a long time.
Now both of the youngest boys are playing basketball this winter with either a 9th grade team or a junior varsity team.
We cannot get to all the games especially for one young man who lives a bit too far from us for us to get to see his games— but we keep track of them and are happy that the team ( a first year one at a Christian elementary and high school) is doing so well. The most important thing about a team sport like basketball is for the ones playing to have a good time and a good learning experience. I do not like it when parents or coaches get too much “into” winning all games..but that is unavoidable in too many American school teams. (I have observed).
We got in on three 9th grade tournament games this weekend starting Thursday when our Fargo grandson’s team won the first round in their tournament play. On Saturday (a long day for us grandparents) —we saw two games and both of them were won by our grandson’s team as well. It was amazing to feel myself so “drawn into” the games that were played at both Shanley High School and the new Davies High School..both in far south Fargo and both very new school faciities. The growth of Fargo and its neighboring cities is ongoing at rapid rates and one of the teams in the 9th grade tournament was from the new West Fargo High School named “Sheyenne…the Mustangs”. Just as Fargo South had to be divided up with the addition of Davies HS so the huge growth in southern West Fargo has made it necessary for the new Sheyenne High School to be added to the school’s system.
Ninth grade boys remain the same as in all generations, though….some are tall (over 6 feet ) and many others are not done growing yet. All of them have skills and enthusiasm to contribute to their teams and that is what makes watching their games so enjoyable.
They are still very much “in process” and are working hard to develop even better skills. Their coaches encourage them..I did not see one angry aggressive coach in this tourney (I was not at all the games so I might have missed some “fireworks”).
I really hope for all boys who play basketball (or other sports) that they have patience and encouragement from both their families and their coaches….that is one quality that I have found in my grandson’s basketball experience.
He has played since third grade with the team of boys who are on the now-9th grade team. They play together so well and so unselfishly…no showboating..this has been learned by coaching from good men who are more concerned about the good of the boys than they are of “using young men” to satfify an urge to win at all costs.
That is not a good characteristic of adults who lead young boys and men on their teams. Our grandson has had the wonderful fortune of being coached by encouragers instead of highly charged criticizers.
I only wish that all boys could have that sort of experience in sports in our schools and in other independent venues.
I know of two tuckered- out grandparents, today, who really had a great time at the 9th grade tournament for eastern ND teams this weekend. It was worth getting tuckered out!

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Kay Syvrud

I am a retired elementary "schoolmarm"..I was a school librarian/media director for nearly 25 years before I retired in 2004. Naturally one of my fondest things is reading! I also love reading aloud to young children, something I did for so many years with amazing results; every child wants to read the same book as the teacher read!!!! I also am fond of my gardens...both flower beds and vegetable plots. I love being outdoors....mowing the lawn after my husband has done so with a big lawn tractor...I trim with my small power mower! I have a rain barrel to collect rainwater for plants! I have an old fashioned "pedal" bike I love to ride. I enjoy going to a Silver Sneakers class at a community center about 20 miles from my country home on what I call the "Buffalo Bluff" which overlooks the Buffalo River and its valley below. I LOVE to write and am working on a book for my grandkids so they will always know more about Grandma when she was still "kickin" and "had all her marbles"!!!!


  1. It is so much fun to watch them get to be better team players over the years..and yes thank goodness for level headed coaches that give all the boys a chance to play. I cannot say the same for some High School Hockey Coaches..they really burn my butt when some kids just sit on the side lines:(

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