July 16, 2007


We had designated Sunday as a family day, and so the day began as those days usually do: everyone arguing about what we would do together. My husband came up with the idea of driving to a museum that has glass-making demonstrations. I thought maybe we could all go for a hike, even though it was raining out. My daughter said she didn't care what we did so long as we ate first because she was hungry. Boy in Black, because he's obsessed, said we should all play Ultimate Frisbee.

I argued that playing Ultimate hardly counted as a special family activity, since the kids play it every single day, and it would naturally involve more people than just our family. We play it in the field right across from the house, so it would hardly seem like some kind of special trip. Shaggy Hair Boy said my reasons were ridiculous.

We were nowhere near consensus and dangerously close to spending the whole day arguing about what to do. And my daughter was hungry. So we decided we would take a vote.

I abandoned my hike idea and threw my support behind the glass museum adventure, since I've been wanting to take With-a-Why there. I figured if my husband and I were a united front, we could sway the crowd. I gave a glowing description of the museum.

Boy in Black, lying half-asleep on the floor, said only four words: "I want to play frisbee."

It's easy to see who has the biggest influence in the family. We played Ultimate, of course.

Spending an afternoon playing Ultimate Frisbee with a bunch of teenagers is healthy, fun, and a great way to make a forty-something body feel completely out of shape. The game involves a whole lot of running. The rain stopped and the sun came out, which would have been a good thing if we'd gone to the beach. Running up and down the field in the humidity became a dreadfully warm exercise.

Still, I admit that I enjoyed listening to the chatter of the game and watching the dramatic moments. Boy in Black is tall and skinny, and on the frisbee field, he seems to be everywhere at once, a long arm reaching to grab the disk no matter where it is. Shaggy Hair Boy, who will soon be as tall as Boy in Black, can throw the frisbee so hard that when I see it coming, I have a tendency to duck, which could explain why he never passes it to me. We were joined by extras and neighbor kids, everyone intent on the game, running full-out the whole time. We kept changing the teams every time a new person joined us, which I found confusing. It's hard to feel trimphant about a good throw when you realize you've just passed the frisbee to someone on the wrong team.

We had any number of time-outs. Skater Boy got stung by a bee, a neighbor dog joined the game, two of the kids got called home for supper. I was so tired after a couple of hours of playing that I began looking forward to kids getting injured because it meant I could sit in the shade for a few minutes. We'd all retreat to the shady corner of the field and flop down on the grass, drinking water out of plastic jugs. Boy in Black would check his cell phone to see if any new players were on their way. My husband and I would listen hopefully to these conversations, figuring we could sneak into the house and take a nap when new players arrived.

It wasn't the kind of day I would have planned, but Shaggy Hair pointed out that the day met my criteria: we were outside, we were together, and we were doing something healthy. And on top of it all, I learned how to throw a flick.


Shaggy Hair Boy taking a break.


Songbird said...

I'm afraid your "out of shape" would be my "in the ambulance going to the hospital." Glad it was fun!

Yankee T said...

I love the photo of SHB. His hair looks not only beautifully shaggy and curly, but also very long.

jo(e) said...

Yankee: Yeah, his hair is very long. He hasn't cut it in three years now. We save a lot of money on haircuts in my household. Spouse is the only one now with short hair.

argon(one) said...

Your blog reads like a novel. I look forward to each chapter. What a great way to start the day.

I like the way you tag your "characters" . . . like Shaggy Hair Boy and With-A-Why. If you don't mind, I would like to play off of your style. I have been trying to think of a way to talk about my daughters without posting their names. Both of them are into hair-dyeing (one has blonde streaks and the other has blue streaks) so beginning today, their tags will be Rogue (from X-Men) and Tonks (from Harry Potter).

Have a great day!

Beth said...

I feel like Shaggy Boy just reading about an afternoon of Ultimate Frisbee!

east village idiot said...

my ultimate frisbee days are so far behind me that I question whether they either existed. i seemed to date too many boys who loved their frisbees. I applaud you for lasting so long.

BeachMama said...

Even though you and your husband were tired out, at least you got out and played! I have never played Ultimate but, remember when we used to all get together and play a game of Football. We haven't done that in years (we being my whole family). I guess Hubby and I playing street hockey with the kids is almost the same, but oh so cold as we usually do it in the winter.

Sarah Sometimes said...

I played volleyball with my friends yesterday. Boy, was it hot. And humid. I pretty much felt like I was going to die after the first game (especially because we played three on three--not enough people came out in the heat). Then some more people came and we had enough for at least a couple of games of four on four, and then I didn't feel as much like I was going to pass out. In the end I, like you, was glad to have gotten out and run around--despite the heat.

ccw said...

Sounds like a fun way to spend the day but I fear my body could not keep up.

landismom said...

Good lord, jo(e), if I played Ultimate Frisbee for a few hours in that heat I would require oxygen! I salute your pulmonary health.

kate5kiwis said...

i know this is Really Rather Anal And Ridiculous, but buoyed up by half a bottle of savvy blanc i have just read

Boy in Black...said only four words: "I want to play frisbee."

and i sub-consciously counted... and then i consciously counted....
glad you enjoyed the family moment
love you X

Amelie said...

I would most definitely pass the frisbee to someone in the wrong group. And duck when it comes towards me. Neither on purpose, of course.

Sarah Sometimes said...

Kate and jo(e): My "it's five words" moment came days later, when I was revisiting the post in my mind, probably as I was drifting off to sleep. How crazy is that???

jo(e) said...

kate5kiwis and sarah sometimes: I noticed that later too, but didn't change it. I think in real life it sounded more like four words: "I wanna play frisbee." But then I never like to write dialogue that way.