Cape Gazette
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Surprise!

By Elise Seyfried | Nov 27, 2012
One of my athletic offspring

The day after Thanksgiving, as is the Seyfried wont, was time for some vigorous outdoor exercise. The exercise usually takes the form of a brisk hike at a distant state park. This year, because of time-crunched schedules, the gang opted to head to the neighborhood park instead. Basketball and Frisbee were on the menu. As the others grabbed sneakers and sports gear I, as usual, prepared to bring a book and sit on a bench while my clan did my exerting for me.

My children’s powers of persuasion are considerable, however, and my al fresco reading just wouldn’t cut it this year. No! I had to dust off my sneakers (well, first I had to locate them) and PARTICIPATE. Mind you, this is a woman who has literally never played either game in her entire life. Basketball was a total mystery to me, and as for Frisbees: whenever and wherever they were flung, I automatically ducked.  “Don’t worry Mom, none of us are that good,” Rose tried to reassure me.  But I knew quite well that “not that good” in their universe is “1000% better than me” in mine.

Patience was the watchword as Sheridan showed me—and showed me—and showed me, the wrist flick that would send the Frisbee soaring in the right direction. Turns out, once I stopped ducking, I could actually catch the thing. I just couldn’t throw it to save my soul. PJ was a bit of a showoff, catching the disc behind his back, then spinning it clear across a field. Next to him, my attempts to get that #@%%&## Frisbee airborne were totally pathetic. It occurred to me that I’d be better off just walking over and handing it to him. Lo and behold, though, after the jillionth try, I started to get the hang of it.

Giddy from my unexpected success, I proceeded to the basketball court. On the opposite end of the court, Steve and Evan were playing very intense one-on-one.  Back over in the baby pool, so to speak, my only goal was to make one basket.  One basket and I’d be thoroughly satisfied. But could I make even one?

Well guess what, sports fans? 12, count ‘em, 12 baskets! Where is that video camera when you need it? Even as I accomplished this feat I couldn’t believe I was doing it. But my aching muscles the next day attested to the fact that the miraculous had indeed happened at the East Oreland playground.

The kids were generous with their praise, and for the first time in my life I felt vaguely athletic. Mind you, I don’t intend to follow up with what was clearly beginner’s luck. Unless the family REALLY pushes, I’ll stick my nose back in my book and let THEM exercise next time. Because it was unsettling, this late-day discovery that I might not be completely uncoordinated.  If I’m not the klutz I always identified myself as, then what other assumptions of mine might be wrong too?

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