I came home from work yesterday, and my son was waiting outside with a football. It never occurred to me that he was waiting for me until later when he said, “You never play catch with
“That’s because I can’t catch or throw,” I explained.
You see, I wasn’t a tomboy growing up. I didn’t have any brothers. I did tap dance, ballet, cheerleading, and my favorite, baton. I took art lessons, and I loved books.
To my defense, I wasn’t a “hot house” child, either. I also water skied, played in the woods, and later learned to lift weights. But when it came to ballgames, I used to infuriate the boys next door by going inside to read, leaving them with unequal teams.
When I was in the seventh grade, we were required to play softball. The outfield would move in the minute I got up to bat.
How insulting! I thought one day. I’ll show them.
So, I swung as hard as I could, determined to make it to at least second base. The ball took off like a rocket, hitting the pitcher, a boy named Will, in a very bad spot. He went down like he’d been shot. And didn’t get up for a long, long time. I graduated from high school with him and swear the boy never forgave me. Let’s just say, I was very relived when I got a birth announcement from Will and his wife a few years ago.
When my son was five, I felt like he wasn’t getting enough baseball practice, so frustrated with my husband, I took over. Our lesson was going great until I stupidly decided to let him pitch to me. He threw a perfect pitch, I swung, and the ball hit him right in the eye, knocking him flat on his back. It was horrific. I scooped him up and ran inside to get an ice pack. Fortunately, he was fine and enjoyed telling everyone within earshot for weeks afterward how mommy gave him a black eye.
Last night, as my son promised to give me my first lesson in football, we reminisced about my almost killing him with the baseball. He said, “I remember that day. It was the only time you let me eat a popsicle in the living room.”
As his interest in sports grows, I’m sure it won’t be the last—not if his mom has anything to do with it.