Tuesday, June 12, 2012

45 Love

Yesterday, my son was deep into the Summer has just started and if I don't get to have a Phineas and Ferb like experience every day then it must be because you are incredibly boring and don't want me to have a Carpe Diem type life.   This sort of attitude is highly contagious and before I could reign it in, it had infected six of my ten children.  Can we go to the pool? Can I sign up for sports? When is the Wedding? Can I go to my friend's house? Can we get McDonald's?  Can I ride to the 7-11? What movies are showing?

As the adult in charge I had three options: 1) hide.  Not very adult I admit, but I'm fairly certain if I holed up in the laundry room, they might never find me.   2) Answer their requests in order with Not today, yes but they don't start for a month, in two weeks, no, he's on vacation. Your bike needs fixing, and I don't know.  Then watch as they promptly come up with new requests such that eventually my will is eroded and they get to do something that is either cost prohibitive, messy, or that requires more time than the day has hours such that I wind up looking like a meanie when I have to stop said project before it fully gets off the ground. or 3) come up with a viable alternative that didn't cost a lot and was sufficiently cool enough and summery to be a win for them.   I prayed for the patience to make it work and the diligence to pull it off because frankly, given the squirrelly squabblely way the morning had gone, I wasn't feeling the love of parenting.  I was feeling the duty of it.

The obnoxious phrase my Granddaddy would say, "Shouldn't hire out if you didn't want to go to work." wafted into my head to banish my feeble "I don't feel like it whine." and with a brief prayer to the Blessed Mother, I took them to the park. 

For logistical reasons, the oldest stayed home to babysit the youngest two who were napping.   But I did insist that everyone else come, including the teenager who likes to hide out in the basement drawing.   She came.  Within minutes of exiting the car, she sat and started drawing...but I got her outside...a victory of sorts.  Sunlight.  It's a start.  The next oldest pushed the youngest two on the swings. 

My 12 year old had wanted to go to the pool.  He'd brought along tennis rackets and balls in hopes of getting his sister to play.  She wasn't interested. I asked her. She said, "I don't think we're evenly matched." He was frustrated.  I picked up the racket.

"I'll be your Huckleberry." I said.
He was surprised.  "I don't know Mom.  I exercise." he explained.

I took the court.  Now you should know, I am a lousy athlete.  I managed to not make the B-team back when there were B-teams.  I can't run.  I barely move, and I am a gangly mess when a ball comes my way.  The worst was basketball, because I was a kid back when they played "Girl's basketball." Even with the stupid concessions and limitations on movement involved in Girl's Basketball, I didn't make the second string of the B-team.  But the Blessed Mother heard my prayers...and once upon a time, I took tennis, so I do know...how to serve and how the game is played. 

He let me serve first.  Big mistake.  60-Love.  He served but lo, I volleyed and won the serve.  Ha! 60 Love.   He decided to go for a walk.  I never win sports.  This was not in the world of his understanding.  Truthfully, it wasn't in mine either.  There's the phrase, act like you've been there before...I never had.   So I think I was just stunned into silence which translated to those who didn't know this wasn't the norm, as gracious winning. 

My daughter who had refused to play came over.  She wanted in on the action.  Perhaps I was worthy.
It happened again.  60-love.  She won the second game, 60-45.   60-love.  She also walked off amazed.   I almost swaggered with the tennis racket when I started to try and hit it against the practice wall.  I was reminded of my own inability to play by my inability to hit back against myself. 

"We play tennis at school. I'm considered pretty good."  She said, shaking her head while watching me chase after one yellow sphere after another. I'd gone back to being hopeless.
I tried to coax either back onto the court.  No bites. Not even nibbles.  I think they thought I was faking my bad athletic display. 

When it was time to pack up everyone from the swings and the slides and the tunnel and the court, maybe I was imagining it but the older ones seemed checked, like horses that were in the process of being broken, who at least today, had come a bit closer to being domesticated.   It's not Game Set and Match yet, but I fully credit the Blessed Mother on this one...when we'd finished packing up, my son asked, "Can we go to the other park next time, where there's a basketball court?"
I may need a complete Novena before I can show up at that playground.    

1 comment:

Joanne said...

And it's only the first week! Better keep that rosary handy!

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