Thursday, September 13, 2012

Tetherball Tales

We used to have a tetherball pole in the middle of our driveway.

It was a big, circular driveway with a large tree smack-dab in the middle of it. The tetherball pole was just to the left between the tree and the detatched garage. I don't recall why we had a tetherball pole, but I remember playing on occasion. After awhile, I think my dad took it down. Perhaps our interest waned, someone backed into it with the car, or we kids just all grew up.

They just installed three tetherball poles at my son's new school and they're a hot ticket. He has officially proclaimed himself "the best tetherball player in the school... well, next to that kid Noah", and it's a mad dash to be the first one out on the playground at recess to get to the "best" one (the one that hasn't been stretched so the ball now lies on the ground).

Because, I assume, that I mentioned having a tetherball pole IN MY DRIVEWAY growing up (how cool am I), my son now challenges me to play him every evening. Though my skills are far from stellar and my tendonitis in my wrists screams obscenities at me with every hit, I gladly oblige every single time. Why?

Because my kid wants to be with me.

Interesting how, when they were littler, I would pray that they would just learn to play by themselves. So I could throw in a load of laundry. Or watch a TV program that wasn't animated. Or go to the bathroom. As much as I loved to look on as they amused themselves, my imagination had long since taken a hike and instead of building some incredibly creative fortress or starcraft out of Legos, I was separating them by color and shape and wondering what to make for dinner.

I remember killing time at the park waiting for Daddy to get home, or spending a Sunday evening at Bicycle Safety Town with just the two kids and me. I recall bundling them up until they were unrecognizable and trudging out in the snow in an attempt to combat cabin fever, and signing up for every story time, craft class and Mom and Me outing in the summer to keep them "engaged" and me sane.

I look back and cherish those times, as I beg my kids to join me on a walk with the dog or a trip to the grocery store. I remember when they were little I'd wait until they were in bed to go to the supermarket just to have some precious time alone. Now there's too many other places they'd rather be than with me. I don't blame them; I was the same way at their ages. But I miss them, and though I'm busier than I have ever been, I somehow have a hole where that time used to be spent that can't be filled with anything else.

And THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is why I will always say "yes" to tetherball.

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