My kid, the Boy, is a jock. He may be a nerdy, mathlete jock with an affinity for yo-yos, rubik’s cubes, MasterChef and Project Runway, but he’s every bit an athlete. You can smell it on him. These days, about to go to high school, you can LITERALLY smell it on him.
When people ask what’s his favorite sport, we tell them he’s a dog. Just throw him a ball, any ball, and that’s his favorite. Lacrosse, soccer, football, baseball. Doesn’t really matter. Golf. Basketball. Frisbees too. He’ll chase them and catch them and do it over and over and over again.
It’s tough to be the only boy in a house full of sisters, with girl cousins and girls in the neighborhood and nothing but girls, girls, girls hardwired in his brain. Too young to get started himself, he was dragged to swim meets, basketball games, gymnastic meets, softball and soccer games. Even girls motorcross. All girls, all the time.
I remember back when he was just a little guy, running out during half-time of his big sister’s parks ‘n rec basketball team and heaving the basketball with all his might. The crowd would cheer. He had a little Kobe Bryant jersey, and would sing: They’re playing Bas-ket-ball …. with his hair braided like Lil Bow-Wow in Like Mike.
One time he ran into the stands after his half-time show at his big sister’s 3rd grade girls basketball team, the Fluffy Purple People Eaters, breathless: “Mom-mom-mom-mom.” He clearly had something to say, before climbing on my lap.
He declared with conviction: “Wisten to me. WISTEN” pant-pant-pant “When I grow up” pant-pant-pant “and I get a ba-gina” pant-pant “I’m gonna pway bas-ket-ball just wike my sis-tah.”
“Aw, honey. You’re not getting a ba-gina. Not ever. You have a penis; no VAgina now or when you grow up. Never gonna happen. Sure, you can play basketball, but no vagina for you, but good news! You don’t even need a VAgina to play basketball.”
Rather attractive husband was not amused.
“Kate: do NOT crush his dreams. Don’t worry dude, you’ll get a vagina – someday, but you don’t need one to play hoops.”
“Geesh, Kate. Give the kid some hope,” rather attractive dad growled, before turning back to the boy and swinging him high in the sky.
“You are awesome, dude, those were some great shots! You’re gonna be a great hoops player when you grow up, Boy. And not to worry, you’ll get plenty of vagina. Do not worry one bit about that.”
This was such a funny story way back then in that dusty middle school gym, but fast-forward a decade or so, to teenage daughters and a boy headed to high school, and rather attractive husband ain’t laughing quite so loud now.
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