Yesterday my class was playing kickball and it occurred to me how the roles people play in kickball as kids are often similar to the ones they eventually play in life. What follows is a true story. Not even my very fertile imagination could dream this up. You always hear about the emotional trauma of the kid who was consistently chosen last for playground games; well, at my school I was always chosen AFTER that kid. No really. First, the Athletic Als were picked, then the Fast Frannys, then the Average Amys, followed by the So-so Sammys, and the Slow Sallys. Then they would pick the fat kid with one eye. Seriously, we had a severely overweight boy in our class who had a glass eye. They would argue about whose team had to take him. THEN, they would look at me, point, and say, “You be the hind-catcher for both teams.” Now that said, I probably had it coming because I did hold an athletic record at my elementary school until it closed in the 90’s as the ONLY child to ever strike out twice in the same game of kickball.
As I watched the kids playing yesterday, I thought about the roles my childhood friends had on the playground and the adults they became. One friend was always the team captain. Today he owns his own business and is a great but bossy dad, still fulfilling the role of team leader. Most of the Athletic Als from my childhood played ball for years and now their kids are Al, Juniors. The Fast Franny that I knew in grade school is, indeed, still fast and she needs to be since she is the mother of twins and the principal of an elementary school. I am not sure where most of the Average Amys or So-so Sammys ended up, but at least some still live in my hometown because my nieces go to school with their children. The one-eyed kid moved away from our town during middle school and really who could blame him? I would have gone with him if my parents would have allowed it, but instead I find that I continue to try to be everything to everyone. I guess I am still trying to be the hind-catcher for everyone I know.
How about you?
What role do you see yourself as in the great kickball game of life?