Child Finds Throwing Ball Hilarious
Somebody we love feels unbridled joy
Kina and I periodically “play sports”, which is a very loosely-defined activity for two people who are not particularly good at sports. “Playing sports”, in this house, means throwing a ball back and forth—seldom directly at each other—and going “oh nooooo”. By contrast, “playing basketball” means walking up to Daddy and chucking the ball directly into his outstretched arms and saying “yessss”. Neither game is a particularly skillful endeavor, but both are very funny, because Kina spends the entire time guffawing and falling over.
I have—and perhaps here you will sympathize—had a really bad week.* Laurea and I started talking about current events at 9 o’clock last night, and it quickly devolved into me hiding under a blanket; I did not sleep well. So, as Kina and I worked through her daily agenda this morning, we took a detour after “get dressed” to “play sports”. She and I sat five feet apart in her bedroom and chucked the ball back and forth at each other, knocking over Legos, bonking each other in the head, and falling on our butts until both of us were losing our breath with laughter. The only reason I took leave of our game, after about twenty minutes, was because school was starting. I sometimes take pleasure in watching Kina have fun, but I think I needed the extra endorphins generated by destructive play this morning in order to approach the day. I think we both appreciated this interlude of chaos, a break in our ritual with absolutely no purpose—a close cousin to my other favorite part of the day: the prescribed choreographed pre-bath performance of Wham’s seminal lazy-party-kid anthem, “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go”.
I think there are two things that I have been missing in my life lately, to which I would suggest you also pay attention: the license to throw things at people, and prolonged laughter. I get both of these by playing sports with my child, though I don’t presume you have a child around at whom you feel comfortable throwing things. For us, the match works. I aim for her squishy belly and can protect my own head in a pinch. She has, as they say in sports, a good arm.
* Technically, I have had a really bad year, but let’s not split hairs.