Friday, February 01, 2008

Child's Play

For some reason I was thinking of my childhood yesterday. It was before I accidentally found and scanned this picture while looking for pictures from our wedding. (Another story for another day.)

I was thinking about when my aunts bought me a basketball one year. I was about eight I think. It was a great gift. I loved sporting equipment and fantasized about playing sports. Except. We lived on the farm then. And we had a small front porch, a smaller back porch and a gravel drive leading from a dirt road. We did not, of course, have a basketball goal or truth to tell any concrete to dribble it on. I was still enthusiastic about owning it, but I probably went back pretty soon to pretending to be a cowboy and that the 4x4 on top of a fence was my horse. I had a football, too. Football doesn't require concrete or a goal. But another person is a good idea. But my parents were too busy, my sister uninterested. I do remember kicking a lot. I got pretty good at kicking. I'd punt. Then I'd go get it and punt the other way. I used an empty black land field for my playground. Occasionally I got to go to town and toss some baseballs with some little friends (boys).

I'm not saying my lack of athletic skill is that I didn't have the equipment and setting. When I took up tennis in in my flush days post college, I didn't exactly become a pro. When I got to join a tennis club, things didn't greatly improve.

I think the main thing I gained on that farm, while losing time in becoming an athlete, was a deep imagination and the ability to live in my head. Even play sports there.

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