Thursday, October 5, 2006

Picked last for Dodge Ball

My son is a klutz.  He will trip and fall while walking on a completely flat, paved surface.  Watching him run is like riding in the passenger seat with a drunk driver, constantly waiting for an accident to happen.  My husband and I like to take walks in the evenings on a paved trail that runs through our town.  On average, my son runs into at least three people during every walk.  This is not a joke.  He walks directly into them, usually hitting them with his head first, which can be unfortunate for some unsuspecting men (my son is a little over three feet tall and has a very large head).  I’m not sure how this happens.  It isn’t as if he is looking behind him or beside him.  His eyes are forward and open.  How does he run into 150 pound, 5-6 feet tall human beings so often? 

I am usually unable to relax and enjoy the walk because I am so worried about my son’s safety and that of those around him.  I have to constantly remind him to watch where he is going.  He doesn’t enjoy this very much and gets pretty defensive.  “I am watching where I’m going.”  Usually, three to four seconds after he says this, he runs into a pole or a person.  This is just when he is walking.  Running is an even more perilous activity.

My son’s lack of grace is certainly not high on my list of concerns.  He may have to work a little harder at sports and he probably will not get chosen first when the dodge ball teams are picked in P.E., but that’s OK.  All of these fall into the, “that which does not kill us makes us stronger” category.  After all, I was usually one of the last three girls picked for dodge ball in grade school.  In high school, I wasn’t good enough for the tennis team so I became the team manager.  I even played the flute in the marching band and I turned out OK.

Obviously, I would prefer that both of my children have a positive social experience in school but do I really want them to be the most popular kid?  I think not.  Unchecked popularity and social ease only contribute to the sense of entitlement that our kids are destined to have.  I’d prefer that my kids have some obstacles to overcome.  Instead of bragging to my friends about my son’s game on Friday night, I think I’ll be quite content to say, “My son may be a klutz but he’s a computer genius.  You should see the PC he built out of a paper towel roll and some clothes hangers.”


  1. Ahhhh fellow dodgeball misfits unite. You know I like to use that one myself!
    If it makes you feel any better Austin was the same way at T's age and he has turned into a happy/healthy/well balanced/mostly normal, pain in the butt teenager.
    Is being a Mommy not the most wonderful job in the world?!

  2. maybe you could get him a little crash helmet to wear on walks? hehehe

  3. My daughter, Cora, has also inherited her mother's grace. Everytime she dances she manages to throw herself on the floor and skin her knee or once she even skinned her forehead. I do recall in grade school when I tried to throw a rock into a lake and threw myself in. I also have to keep a close eye on Cora in the mall because, yes, I actually fell into the mall fountain when I was little. My poor mother- atleast I got a new outfit out of it.

  4. Angie-
    Actually, that does make me feel better. Austin seems fairly non-spazmatic to me.
    Yep, I was a dodge ball loser. What can I say?

  5. Becky-
    Maybe his bike helmet could do double duty on our walks. Sounds like a plan. All he needs now is a leash and he will be that Mike Myers character on SNL that was tied to the playground equipment!

  6. Joann-
    Your comment made me laugh out loud. I had no idea Cora was a spaz! We should get them together and make them take couples dance lessons. That would be a sight to see!
    I hadn't heard the story about you falling into the fountain at the mall. Hilarious. I do, however, recall a story involving you and an electric fence. Maybe you should start a Joann's childhood stories blog. That would be a good read!

  7. Julianne-
    You made me lol remembering that mike myers character...what a visual image :)

  8. Sounds like when we were kids walking down the board walk or swimming in the ocean waiting for John IV to swallow sea water and puke it up.

  9. Uncle Carni-
    Aahhh yes. I remember those days. I'm cracking up at the visual.