Yesterday was an amazingly beautiful August day. An “If this is because of global warming I’ll take it” kind of August day.
My daughter Nola found our baseball gloves in a closet and since I’m working at home she wanted to play catch with me. So we did.
I freakin’ love playing catch. On paper it sounds mind numbingly awful. In practice it is completely great. Many, many hours of my life have been spent throwing some kind of ball back and forth. And much of those hours included talking about which girls me and my friend liked at the time—I’m sure it would now revolve around which Netflix documentaries are “really good.”
I’ve been anxious to get my kids playing catch because I remember having countless conversations with friends or my dad over that activity. Chatting until the the daylight was gone, and then moving into the middle of the road so the blessed light of the street lamp on high could let us continue on—that’s not a tip, don’t do that.
Good bonding times.
I think I’m close with Nola. She’s getting better at catching, I mean, keeping her glove still so I can land the ball into it with my incredible accuracy. And her throwing is improving to the point where I’m only within a few steps of catching it.
But there is one major aspect that she doesn’t understand yet. And it’s a really big issue. I filmed an example of what I’m talking about.
The absolute worst thing you can do when playing catch with someone, the most flagrant of offenses, the cardinal-est of sins, is stopping the ball to talk. The beauty of playing catch is that your conversation can sit in the middle of the activity. Nothing makes you want to put your friend in a choke hold more than seeing them tuck the ball under their arm so they can use their hands to tell a story.
I don’t care how big of fish you caught, if you don’t throw that ball back RIGHT NOW I won’t be able to stop myself from breaking you in half. THROW IT! RIGHT NOW!!!
There is a rhythm to the game that demands respect. I’ll try hard to teach Nola how to honor this, because future deep conversations and bonding time depend on it.