It’s the reason she hates baseball and sadly the same reason she hates soccer… and… well… volleyball.
In fairness… she seems to be a magnet for round, hard, projectiles and I honestly can’t imagine how that can be my fault! She can blame me for a lot of things that have gone wrong in her little life but she has to realize that for every time she’s been hit in the head with a baseball, soccer or volleyball… not once have I been on the “throwing end”.
Bottom line is… I can’t be held responsible for my instincts. My reflexes suggest I protect myself first and I’d like to point out that even when in a plane crash it’s suggested you put the oxygen mask on yourself BEFORE you put it on your child! All I’ve done was duck each time I saw something quickly moving from the corner of my eye and really… the time I used her as a shield wasn’t technically my fault either. It’s not like I wanted her to be hit… it’s more like I didn’t want myself to be hit.
In my defense, I’ve been on the receiving end of a ball rapidly catapulting towards my head causing an entire gymful of volleyball parents to laugh endlessly at my expense. It was the final game of a weekend tournament with energized, excited families all in attendance for the big game. The girls were warming up and like always, I was rushing from one child’s activity to the next and was making it “just in time” for the game… having to cross the back of the gym to get to the other seated parents as the girls were practicing their rapid fired spikes and serves to one another. As I tried to walk quickly to my seat, I heard the “heads up” call from multiple parents and from the corner of my right eye, caught sight of the ball heading directly for me. With ninja-like reflexes I managed to duck my head as the ball whipped over me… the wind from the fast moving sphere rearranging my neatly coiffed hair. I jumped back up… smiling in delight as my heart pounded… all eyes on me in awe of the near-miss and my amazing agility and speed… just as the ball hit the gym wall beside me, bounced back and hit me on the other side of the head knocking me unexpectedly to the gym floor!!
The gasps… followed by the laughter… are sounds I will never forget. Nor will I ever forget the sting from the slap of the ball on my left cheek.
I’ve promised to protect my youngest from creepy guys, the boogie man, monsters, ghosts, loud noises and crowded spaces… but with flying projectiles I openly admit… she’s on her own.