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.