September 09, 2011

Casual Wednesdays

Boy in Black is a serious Ultimate Frisbee player. You might even call him a fanatic. Even in early summer when he was sleeping all day because he was recovering from mono, and in the middle of the summer when he was doing research and still recovering from mono, and in late summer when he was spending big chunks of time studying for his qualifying exams, he still kept playing Ultimate.

Boy in Black has this weird ability, or perhaps compulsion, to pull everyone around him into whatever he’s passionate about. So that means his siblings played Ultimate this summer. And all of our extras. And on Wednesdays, even his parents.

Other nights of the week, he’d play Ultimate with a league or club team, and old folks like us would be spectators, but he declared Wednesdays to be the evening for Casual Ultimate. Everyone was welcome to play, no matter the age or skill level. My husband and I both played. Our extras played. Boy in Black invited pretty much everyone he knew. And most of them showed up.

I was thankful, actually, that so many of the young men of the household have girlfriends now. It’s a bit ridiculous for me to be playing on the same team with my 6’3” Ultimate fanatic son. It’s makes a little more sense if I’m asked to guard a 5’ woman who has never played Ultimate before. Then I’ve got at least a chance.

We gathered on the empty field behind the old elementary school, right next to the cemetery, and Boy in Black set the boundaries with orange cones. He brought everything we needed, including extra white shirts and bottles of water for everyone. He marked his own water bottle with a rubber band because no one wanted to come in contact with mono-contaminated saliva.

The games were filled with joking and teasing, but also serious instruction. Boy in Black and First Extra were very patient about explaining rules or strategies. During the last few games of the summer, I was usually guarding Thinking Girl, and we’d help each other out, even though we were on opposite teams. “That was a turn-over. You’re going in that direction now,” she’d say when she’d see me heading up the field the wrong way.

My tendency to get into conversations with the person I’m supposed to be guarding means that I’m not a very competitive player, but still the games were fun.

It was always dark by the time we returned to the house. Some of the players would take navy showers, while others rummaged through the kitchen for food and drink. Boy in Black always took the time to stretch, lying on the floor while discussing the game with First Extra or Shaggy Hair Boy. My husband and I would go to bed, but the young people would stay up to play cards or computer games, carefree on a summer night.

That's Shaggy Hair Boy in the photo.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Love the pink shorts!

liz said...

I love your photos.

YourFireAnt said...

Remind me that I've got one of those showerheads for you, the ones I told you about at Wordplay County park. I found in in a close I was clearing out.

Nice shot of SHB.

T.

jo(e) said...

FA: Excellent! The kids will be very happy. We need to get together for another picnic.