For the past few days, I’ve walked the boys to a little park down the street, and they’ve played soccer. Neighborhood kids riding by on bikes have seen us and called out, “I’ll be right back. I have to ask my mom!” They return decked out in shin guards, long socks, and jerseys.
It’s pretty great to watch six and seven year-old boys run around pretending to juke and jive like Pelé or Beckham or Ronaldo. They make their own rules, call their own fouls, monitor out of bounds, and banter about the legitimacy of their goals. Sometimes they stop to watch planes fly by or check out the rising moon. The other boys can’t tell the twins apart, so they gave the twins the same nickname: “Tiny.” As in, “Give the ball to Tiny!”
After some pretty spectacular play, one by one they were called home for dinner, only instead of hearing a mother’s voice call from down the street, cell phones rang. I heard the same response I’m sure mothers have heard for centuries, “Yeah, yeah, I’ll be home in a minute.”
Eventually, I walked the boys back home feeling like I’d witnessed the movie “The Sandlot” in real life.
When’s the last time you played in the park?