April 22, 2007

Sunshine and new mud

Ultimate Frisbee

When Boy in Black is home, everyone in the household gets recruited to play Ultimate Frisbee. Even in snow or cold rain, he'll tie a bandana around his long hair, grab a frisbee, and start making teams, with no sympathy for anyone who would like to sit in by the fire. In snowy weather, the players straggle back to the house with red, chapped hands. On rainy days, players come back splattered with mud, dripping pools of muddy water on the linoleum as they grab towels and strip off wet pants.

This weekend, we finally had the perfect weather for the sport – warm enough for shorts but cool enough to keep bugs away. So even the fair-weather frisbee players, that is, my husband and I, were talked into playing. I am not much of a frisbee player – in fact, it's hardly fair to put me in the game with tireless teenagers, especially now that so many of them are taller than me – but I enjoy being out in the sunshine with my kids and my extras, watching their dramatics leaps and throws, listening to their banter.

I am not quick at learning different throws or running patterns, mostly because I am far more interested in learning the language of the game. "Stack it up!" Boy in Black will yell. Or "someone mark him!" Boy in Black has always been quick to pick up insider language from any group, from skateboarders to snowboarders to physics majors, and the younger kids pick up the lingo from him.

Boy in Black had lent a black bandana to With-a-Why, and I noticed that the two brothers looked just alike, their long dark hair pulled back like pirates. Of course, With-a-Why is still a few feet shorter than Boy in Black; he is still a little boy.

"You look so cute with your hair like that, " I said to With-a-Why. "Like a little pirate."

The teenagers gave me disgusted looks.

"Way to Mom him," said FirstExtra.

We were playing barefoot in a grassy field filled with puddles, and the sun-warmed mud felt soft beneath my toes as I ran back and forth, trying to guard With-a-Why, who is way shorter but frustratingly faster than I am. Whenever we stopped, I kept looking around at the green grass and the spring sun coming through the bare branches of the trees.

Less than a week ago, this landscape was still drifted in white. How good it felt to feel the sun on my bare legs, to slip and slide in the mud, and know that we have months of warm weather ahead of us.

Feet in springtime

The muddy feet of Blonde Niece.


liz said...

"Way to mom him"

That just cracks me up.

I love the way you put into words exactly what I'm feeling about the coming of spring.

Heidi said...

I like how the trees and sky are so much bigger than the game. It says something about your point of view.

Are they all your kids?

Kathryn said...

Having just spent a happy hour chatting madly on messenger, fingers flying too fast to worry about typos, I was delighted to see that Boy in Black ties a banana around his head! Would love to see that :-)

Glad of spring time and frisbee time, anyway x

jo(e) said...

Kathryn: Oh, in this household, anything is possible. I better correct that typo before my readers think Boy in Black has started some kind of banana peel as accessory trend.

Heidi: The figures you see in the top photo are some of my kids and my "extra" kids, which is what we call the kids who spend a lot of time at my house.

From left to right:
Philosophical Boy
First Extra
Skater Boy
Shaggy Hair Boy
Older Neighbor Boy
Pirate Boy
Boy in Black

And the feet belong to Blonde Niece.

Linda said...

Now that's a perfect Saturday. I'm not fast, but I am tall. You think they'd let me play?

jo(e) said...

Let you play? Come to visit, and you won't have a choice. Boy in Black gets everyone to play -- he's very persuasive.

Jodie said...


The love you have for your family is so contagious. I love to read your posts.


cloudscome said...

"Way to MOM him" LOL

I bet they love having you out there mom-ing everyone, recording their language and daydreaming.

ppb said...

Before I scrolled down far enough, I thought they were your feet, and I was thinking "jo(e) paints her toenails???"

jo(e) said...

PPB: How well you know me! You are right -- I have never painted my toenails. Or my fingernails either, for that matter. I had never heard of a pedicure until I started blogging ....

niobe said...

Wish my feet looked like that. Not the muddy part, but the elegant taper and elongated toes.

jo(e) said...

Blonde Niece does have beautiful feet. Then again, every part of Blonde Niece is beautiful.

What Now? said...

I was going to comment along Kathryn's lines -- I love the image of tying a banana in one's hair!

Happy spring to you and yours.

SusansPlace said...

You live in a very beautiful place! This reminds me of playing flag football on holidays, with my cousins. It didn't matter about weather, you had to play because it was tradition. Good memories!


Hel said...

I am glad to see such bright green after so much white.

Mona Buonanotte said...

"Way to Mom him"...garrrr, I seem do be doing that a lot lately!

Is that your backyard? That great expanse? You are a lucky girl.