Fifteen. That’s the number of free throws I can make in a row. Of course it helps when the hoop is only about three feet off the ground. And the free throws are from one side of an area rug to another.
A few weeks ago we bought a basketball hoop to encourage Jamie to spend more time on his feet. He’s 16 months old, and when he wants to get somewhere fast, he still prefers to crawl. The walking/crawling ratio is slowly changing and we’re trying to nudge it in the right direction.
The “problem” is that dad spends more time playing with the basketball hoop than Jamie. We did invent a game. One of our balls gets stuck in the hoop. When I shoot and it stays lodged, I say “help.” Jamie walks over, nudges the ball free, and I say “thank you.” He then parrots what I say. We’re raising one polite rebounder.
Past that, it is dad that takes interest in the hoop. When Meg and I are talking, I’m often shooting baskets. I’m trying to break my streak for consecutive free throws. If this hoop were downstairs in my office I may never write again.
Some days I feel like Tom Hanks in Big. Now what we need is a piano spread for the floor so that Jamie and I can play chopsticks when he’s a little older.
Jamie has always had an interest in music. Last Christmas Meg bought him a xylophone. He’d rather bang the wood spoon on the pot than the mallet on the instrument. Dad on the other hand took the opportunity to learn how to play “Jingle Bells” and “Ode to Joy” (not well).
One hidden advantage to having a kid is that it gives you license to have toys in the house again, and by default play with them. By extension, it totally makes you feel like a kid again. With Jamie, a totally acceptable habit. Sans Jamie, placing a Little Tikes basketball hoop in the front room would just be weird.
After I write this, if anybody needs me I’ll be trying to break my streak of 15 free throws in a row. At some point my goal is 20. I’m developing a good touch. Too bad it probably won’t transfer outdoors.