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why lurking isn’t always creepy

September 22, 2011

The best part of my really good day yesterday (some of which was spent meeting nice new people; some of which was spent organizing my desk drawers) was spent lurking in the shadows of my new home.

Sort of making dinner, I was mostly eavesdropping on my little boys and their father.  I was spying, a silent witness in a new space as my sons practiced one rite of masculine passage:

I listened as my boys played catch with their father.

photo by stephanski via flickr

When I play with my kids, our games are costumed and story-fueled — knights charging off to battle, dolphins trapped in nets, pirates guarding doubloons — mostly because that is how I know to play.  We also have dance parties and compose new lyrics to old songs, this because I can bust a mean Roger Rabbit and I can rhyme “banana” with “I wanna” without any protest from them.  Occasionally, we bake sugar cookies or paint on easels in the afternoon sun.

What we don’t do, ever, is play catch.

Please don’t misunderstand me — lots of mothers toss footballs with their sons, and coach soccer teams, and hit tennis balls.  In no way do I feel gender should pin a parent to one set of duties or another.

photo by kwanie via flickr

It’s just that, thus far, my sports aversion has situated me firmly in the “let’s build a house out of popsicle sticks and then bake brownies” category of play.  I also suspect that, no matter how much I educate myself about golf swings or baseball stats, my children’s sports lives will remain a room where I am neither unwelcome nor in charge.  I am okay with this.

Truly, I am more than okay with it.  I love watching my husband teach them what I don’t know.  Lurking unseen, I get to witness the three of them knitted together — a team.  It kind of overwhelms me.

I’d better sign off before I start singing Cat Stevens’ “Father and Son.”  With newly fabricated lyrics.  While executing a flawless Roger Rabbit.  And crying.

Hey, here’s to another beautiful day.  I wish you more than one chance to teach somebody some new, lovely mystery.  Thanks for showing up.

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