Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Last Saturday, it was gorgeous. Sunny. 80 degrees. Not a cloud in the sky. So naturally Elijah, Finn, Rory and Luca wanted to sit in our darkened living room in front of television all day.
But after much dragging, yanking and pulling, we went out back to play in the yard.
Eli and Finn played Star Wars. Steve and I drank beer and talked about Star Wars. Luca and Rory discussed their plans to escape their nerd relatives.
Suddenly, I heard, “Rick? Rick?” from over the fence. It was our 5-year-old neighbor Molly, who wanted to come over and play. I said, “Sure. Knock yourself out,” and opened the side gate.
Molly gathered the kids and suggested they all play a game. Her first thought was baseball. Both Elijah and Finn looked at her like she was speaking a foreign language.
“You guys don’t know how to play baseball?” Finn and Eli continued to stare blankly at her.
While Molly taught my son and nephew how to play our nation’s pastime, I began to imagine where I’d put my “Worst Father Ever” statuette. It never dawned on me that part of my duty as a father was to, in fact, teach my son how to play sports and other icky stuff.
Feeling an intense desire to overcompensate for my lack of father-ness, I leapt off the deck and volunteered to pitch. It was not long before Eli and Finn decided it was a lot more fun to use the Wiffle bat as a lightsaber.
Molly, ever the sports optimist, then suggested they all play soccer. Eli and Finn stopped in their tracks. Again, struck dumb by their father’s complete lack of instruction on, well, anything.
“You guys don’t know how to play soccer?” Molly asked. With silence as her answer, she audibly sighed and began to cement her role as the boys’ true father figure.
I announced the fact that, like all true Americans, I knew nothing about soccer and rejoined Steve in our discussion “Chewbacca versus Darth Vader: who would win in arm wrestling?”
p.s. I cannot take all the credit for Eli’s lack of sports knowledge. This is how his mother allows him to leave the house.