For as long as we can remember, my son Benjamin’s birthday celebration has always been rescheduled for another day because it falls exactly on the day we compete for the 70.3 IronMan events. Benjamin has been quite a sport about it because he has had his fair share of events that he had to attend to while joining the IronKids so he has opted to celebrate his birthday on another day for as long as it within the month of August.
He had only one wish this year which he made known to me way in advance–to invite Jimmy Alapag to play with him and a bunch of his buddies for basketball. It seemed a very simple wish but then again it was like an out of the world request to a mommy like me who has very little if any-knowledge about basketball. The thought of bringing Jimmy to the boondocks seemed almost impossible as well. But Benj said to just try and ask. As a dutiful mother, that is exactly what I did-ask. And the rest was history.
Jimmy didn’t think twice about granting Benjamin’s birthday wish. He didn’t have qualms about travelling way out in the boondocks to play with the boys. He exuded such a positive aura and very kind demeanor that the boys (most of whom heralded him as a god) were at awe in the beginning but warmed up to him right away and enjoyed every single minute of his presence.
Ranton (in photo) is my eldest son, Donny’s buddy but because his life’s priorities are as follows: God, Family, Alapag, Donny made sure he came to join this once of a lifetime chance to be with Jimmy. He couldn’t believe it at first but it didn’t take long for him to realize that dreams do come true..
All the boys were in their best element. Jimmy played two sets of games with them and in between, coached them and shared some things about himself and his experiences as a professional player. He addressed each boy by their names (I can’t believe he remembered all their names so quickly) while getting to know more about them.
It was a pumped up morning and when Jimmy left, he clearly made his mark with the boys that they kept reliving the moment.
The boys were happy with packed breakfast for all, hydration, homemade cookies from my sis-in-law, Donna and warm taho. It wasn’t a fancy birthday but one that will be remembered forever. Now I know why there was a big fuss over having Jimmy over- he is one of the kindest, most gracious, super professional (he replies to my texts and coordination all the time) and down to earth , fun, superstar basketball players that I have known and I am a certified fan now, seriously! My best takeaway for the day was when Benjamin told me this: ‘Mom, thanks so much- you are the best!’ Boom!
August 20, 2015 by Mommy Maricel