On Monday, Brian was off of work so we headed to the park as a family. We had done this on Sunday, too, and brought the red kick ball with us. Despite the fact that Scotty showed about 3% interest in kicking the ball (and 97% interest in wandering through the park's field), Brian and I had so much fun with it that we wanted to repeat the experience again. And who knows, maybe more appropriate modeling by his parents would help him develop an interest sports.
Different park, different ball on Monday. The blue soccer ball came with us, along with a health competitive spirit. As Scotty meandered through the grass and examined trees, Brian and I kicked the ball back and forth. I need to point out that I have zero athletic abilities and no soccer experience, so when I say "kick," what I really mean is "heft my foot at the ball and pray it goes in the right direction."
And not surprisingly, it didn't. When we were about 40 feet apart (with the little Bear pulling on some low-hanging tree branches nearby), I accidentally kicked the ball completely in the wrong direction. Brian thought I did it on purpose, and I could hear him swearing under his breath as he jogged to get the ball back (ironically, it rolled into a picnic for a youth soccer team.) He then kicked the ball really hard at me. I kicked it hard back at him. He slammed the ball in my direction. I slammed it back, making him run even more. See? We are your standard, mature, type-A couple. When one person gets competitive, we put our game faces on and immediately attempt to one up the other person.
This went on for quite awhile.
And then, during my turn, I put extra effort into my kick and heaved my leg back, then forward, and watched the ball go flying forward...in the air...and headed directly at Scotty, who was still innocently examining tree bark. (he's quite the little botanist.)
It was like one of those slow-motion moments. Brian and I both realized what was happening at the same time and started running towards him, and we watched as the ball took one bounce...two...and then smacked him in the back of his right knee.
He went down like a ton of bricks.
Good thing he has some ample padding.
The poor little guy was twisted around his beloved tree, laying on the ground on his side, more startled than hurt. By the time we reached him, we were both laughing so hard it was hard to breath. Because we were laughing, he immediately started laughing too, looking from one face to another, like, "I get the joke! I get it! Wait, what are we laughing about?"
Glad he's got a good sense of humor. Bowling over my child like a 33-inch bowling pin was enough to quash the "friendly" competition for the day, needless to say. We dusted him off, put the soccer ball away and headed back to the playground equipment like good, responsible parents.
That is, until Brian wants a rematch. Game on!