I recently did something I hadn’t done with a parent in many years: play Catch. In a 2009 “Athletic Aesthetic” column where I eulogized my then-recently-deceased father, I noted how we used to play Catch, and did so well beyond my years as a kid. What stood out to me was how, a handful of days before his passing, the thought crossed my mind that I had not played Catch with him in some time, and was due to do so. Alas, I never got that chance to play Catch again with him.
This August, I suggested to my mother that I wanted to play Catch with her. She had also played the game with me as a kid, yet, for whatever reason, it had been a good two decades since we tossed a ball over the grass. One clear Saturday afternoon, we headed out to the yard, the same place I threw with my father for so many years, and with my mother in the 80s as well.
Understand, she had not really thrown a ball since the last years of the U.S.S.R. Yet her tosses were good, and soon enough, we were throwing a baseball back-and-forth, trying to aim for each other’s glove. No underhanded lobs really needed by me; I could throw overhand and give some momentum. She did the same to me: suddenly, she revved-up and tossed one with some extra “oomph.” I felt a twinge of pain on my hand. My mother sure can throw the ball after all these years. I should have remembered that she was a decent athlete in her youth, as well.
At this point, it was “game-on:” me reaching to catch balls to the side and doing the shortstop spin to throw back, then attempting to make ten-in-a-row to conclude the session. Sure, it was a bit simplified from my father, but my mother made it such that it became a game with skills and challenges, and what a fun time we had.
I’ll be playing Catch again with my mother. Perhaps yet this autumn. For sure next year. Be sure you play Catch again, as well. Pull out those dusty gloves and balls, find a spot in your yard, and throw. And catch. And have some of the most fun you will have all year.