This is a view of two of my children playing Ladder Ball this brilliant, sunny afternoon at Cole Park outside of Binghamton, NY. My family and I attended a party for my daughter’s boyfriend’s high school graduation. He couldn’t have picked a better day to have a party outside. Postcard weather at one of Broome County’s finest parks.
This scene caught my eye for nostalgic reasons more than anything else. Although I’m pushing 40 in a year, I still get as giddy as a 10-year-old when summer kicks into full gear. I just want to play outside all day until I’m a sweaty mess. I want to play Wiffle Ball and pretend that I’m Reggie Jackson or Willie Randolph. I want to play football and pretend I’m Marcus Allen or Joe Montana. I want to play until nightfall and have my Mom yell for me to get in the house and take a shower.
When I was a youngster, I would go to Williamsport, PA every summer to visit my mother’s family. I’d play with my cousins all goddamn day. When we spent time in my grandmother’s backyard, which was connected to a large church property, we’d play basketball, badminton, soccer, football, baseball, basically any sport we could come up with. Then at night, once it got dark, we’d take a football or basketball and throw it up into the air as high as we could throw it and watch the bats fly out of the trees and attack the ball.
I like that my kids, all three of them, have this spirit in them. They love to play and I love them for it. Even if it is Ladder Ball, a game I didn’t have growing up and one that doesn’t exactly get the blood pumping through the veins, but that’s OK. As long as they’re being active, I’m cool with that.
My son, with his Air Jordans, is in the foreground throwing the blue balls (I know there’s a joke in here somewhere). My oldest daughter, 10 years his senior, is waiting in the background, ready to pummel him. My other daughter, to the left of this photo, is watching and will soon master both of them at Ladder Ball.
Categories: Seed Views