The winter walls are closing in and it is only mid-January. Boy energy fills our house, threatening to blow out the walls and take out anyone unfortunate enough to be walking by at the time. We need an activity that does not require us to brave the cold. We need something new that will hold our boys’ attention for more than five minutes. For the sake of the adults’ sanity, we need an activity that does not contain the word “chase” anywhere in the title or description.
My husband makes the back half of our lower level family room a two-square court, our indoor, modified version of four-square. It is an instant hit with the boys. I marvel at their skill and coordination. I am not so quick to catch on, even to this very easy version of four-square, reaffirming Jack’s belief that I am Not So Good at Sports.
As a tiny, uncoordinated child, I was always picked last for games like dodge ball and Red Rover. Could I really blame them? No. It never hurt my feelings. I knew I was tiny and uncoordinated. As an adult, I am not tiny and uncoordinated. I am sore and uncoordinated with slow reflexes. So I understand when the boys begrudgingly take turns being on my team. Luke gives me tips like, “When the ball is low like that, bend your knees.” Jack says, “You can move into the square to get the ball.” They master the fine art of the “good try” butt swat.
Eventually, someone asks for a drink of water. I head up to kitchen, reviewing my performance as a pro-athlete would during half-time and vowing to do better upon my return to the game. Drinks in hand, I head to the court only to find that a hot and heavy game of keep-away has replaced the game of two-square. Luke looks at me solemnly, as if he drew the short straw. “It’s only a three person game. You’ll have to sit out.”
I feign disappointment and grab my book.