February 26, 2012

I raise you a javelin

Andrew is generally believed to be a reasonably intelligent child, which makes the fact that he managed to get his “good” soccer ball stuck in a tree today totally irritating baffling. Apparently he didn’t remember that those trees are in possession of numerous sporting goods captured by their upward arcing branches. He was genuinely surprised, after he and a friend threw a soccer ball as high as they could in the general direction of the tree, that it became lodged 25 feet above the ground. He pleaded with me to get it down but I assured him I had no tricks up my sleeve that would allow me to reach that ball. Mark, who had been outside,  heard the commotion and silently disappeared. I assumed that he was silently disappearing so that I could handle the situation without his interference. (Insert eye roll here…)

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.

javelin 2

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 quit.

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.
javelin 1

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!


Rosemary said...

Priceless! I'm still laughing! :-) What a wonderful glimpse into an absolutely amazing and most entertaining "afternoon with the Hondos." Keep us posted on how many kids come around wanting to learn how to throw "that really, really pointy thing."

Stephanie said...

This is FABULOUS! This is the type of stuff that makes my kids think Uncle Mark is just unpredictable enough to be awesome and that makes me want to be a fly on the wall in your house. You should win an award for the writing on this one.

Paige said...

Love it! This post has convinced me to forever hang on to the (extra long) oars I have in the basement that Ryan keeps trying to get rid of. You just never know! Hang in there Susan, I think boys only truly appreciate their Moms when they have kids of their own...

Maria said...

Ditto Stephanie. This post reminds me of the invisible friend Mark took along with you all on one of your family trips. Henry? I can't remember, but hilarious. He is an unpredictable brother as well and often surprises me to this day!