Thursday, April 28, 2011

Kids, Cook-outs, and Cartwheels

In case you were wondering, the answer is yes, I can still do a handstand and a decent cartwheel. This past weekend, I was reminded of some of the staples of my childhood: Dad cooking out on the grill, playing very intense games of tag, sneaking candy to satisfy my permanent sweet tooth, and doing handstands and cartwheels until I was either too dizzy or too tired to stand upright. 
Kevin and I were invited to a cook-out last Sunday held by our favorite love-lines (as opposed to bloodlines) family. It was a delightfully fun blend of good food, drinks, playtime in the backyard, cute kids, and humorous adults. We enjoyed burgers hot off the grill, pulled sodas from the cooler on the deck, sat around and talked. We had an assortment of indoor and outdoor athletic pursuits and recreations to choose from: including bocce ball, soccer, tag, ping pong, foosball, and free-ranging gymnastics.
Kids have always challenged me to grow in all possible ways. Last Sunday was no exception.
It’s been a while since anyone has asked me if I could do a cartwheel at least in a persistent and adorable enough way that I would be the least bit inclined to attempt one. Leave it to the six-year-old who convinced her mom to let her change out of her pastel Easter dress into her teenage uncle’s shorts and a T-shirt so she could do cartwheels to challenge me to perform such a feat.
At first, I sidestepped her challenge by saying it probably wouldn’t be a good idea for me to try doing one after so many years. After all we were in a highly visible to everyone on the deck and a number of neighbors area of the yard. Everyone in their family knows Kevin and I don’t drink, so I couldn’t blame any really-embarrassing failed attempts on being intoxicated.
Once another person in my age-range (rather than the six year old’s) began attempting handstands and cartwheels, I threw caution to the wind, tucked in my shirt, and joined them. It was fun! I remembered how to do both acrobatic feats from my youth. I could even offer the other aspiring tumblers a few pointers once I got back into the groove.
Also amusing is that Kevin missed the whole thing, because he and the guys had moved their bocce ball game from the back to the side yard.
Lord, thank You for the gift of children, family, and friends who bring so much joy, help us grow in so many ways, and challenge us often to become the best, most fun, silliest, and most loving version of ourselves. Amen.
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