The Basket Game and Swings

Hi Daddy. I don’t know if you remember this game we used to play when you’d do yard work…and no, it has nothing to do with Easter except for the fact that it basically revolved around an old Easter basket.

The game in question was kind of like hide and go seek crossed with I-Spy. We had this dinky little old Easter basket that had one or two tennis balls haphazardly thrown inside it, and while you were mowing the lawn or wheelbarrowing around trimmings from the privet hedges you would hide the basket somewhere in the backyard. I’d busy myself in the front yard for a sufficiently appropriate period of time, and then would try to find the basket where you’d hidden it. We would trade off, one of us hiding each time, the other seeking. I don’t know why this game was so entertaining, but I seem to remember it keeping me busy for hours while I puttered around the garden exploring.

Some people have fond memories of playing in their backyards with their siblings. Instead my days of playing in leaves or exploring in the snow were spent with you. Another notable game we made up was Singing Soccer. We had that obnoxiously large blue bouncy ball (probably a Christmas Tree Shop purchase…) and you’d roll it to me while I was on the swings like a bowler going for a strikeout. Obviously, the point of such a game would be to kick the ball as far as possible into the air with the overarching goal of getting it over the roof of the house. Surprisingly, this actually happened more than a few times… There was also the one unfortunate incident where I kicked the perfect shot that arced right up towards the roof…only to land smack dab on the weather vane, exploding the ball in a loud “pop”. Clearly, the only thing to do at that point was to hop in the car (the Jeep? the Blazer?) and jet off to buy a new ball. You’re really fun Daddy. I probably didn’t tell you that a lot when I was little — what eight year old does right? — but you always kept me entertained. Your imagination was always on par with my own. The ability to remain young and playful, no matter what your age, is a quality that I think will have to be a necessity in whatever lucky gentleman gets the unique privilege of being “Daddy” to my kids (don’t worry, not for a while…). So thank you, for teaching me how to play.

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