Imagine my surprise when he reappeared seconds later dragging a very long cardboard tube behind him. That tube? It looked familiar. That tube has been leaning in the corner of our garage for the last 10 years. That garage? We’re not quite ready for Hoarders, but we can see it from here. I’ve inquired about that long cardboard tube several times in the last 10 years. “Are we seriously keeping this?” “What are you EVER going to do with that?” “Do you really think anyone will use that again?”
That tube? It holds a javelin. I’ll give you a second here to wonder why in the world we would have a javelin in our garage. The answer is that we apparently have a javelin in our garage to dislodge soccer balls from Bradford Pear trees.
Every experience has the potential to be a teaching moment. What I learned this afternoon was that even though I’m the parent that prepares 82% of my kids’ meals, does 74% of their laundry, and does 99% of any caretaking that happens between 9 p.m.and 7 a.m., I will never be their favorite. Why? Because I don’t know squat about a javelin.
In less than 30 seconds, Mark expertly pulled the javelin far enough out of its cardboard home to make the total reach long enough to push the soccer ball to freedom, which elicited cheers from Andrew, Thomas and the playmate. Then? He let them each have a turn to throw the javelin. He showed three small boys how to throw a very long, metal, pointed object in our backyard.
I watched this nonsense from the deck and decided that if I couldn’t win the favored parent award I might as well try to throw a javelin. It turns out that I suck at that and should stick to laundry. Mark was, predictably, the only one of us that could actually make it stick in the ground.
I document all of this mostly as a reminder to myself. We all have our special gifts and we all make our contributions to the family unit. There will come a time, probably this week, when I feel a little sorry for myself, what with the 82% of feeding and 74% of the laundry and all, and this will serve as a good reminder. It takes a village to raise a couple of great little men and I am grateful that their dad is capable of doing 26% of the laundry and a far greater percentage of the stuff that they’ll actually remember when they’re older.
p.s. Any of you who are related to us should consider yourselves potential character witnesses should Andrew’s playmate’s parents call into question why in the world we let their child throw a javelin in our backyard today!