Hopscotch & Flamingos


Happy President’s Day, and welcome to another blog post in The Losing Chronicles! I’m sure some of you are really excited to read, and others were probably just hoping I fell off the face of the earth so they wouldn’t have to witness me shamelessly promoting my blog on social networking for the umpteenth time. Sorry to disappoint you all.

I hope you’ve all had a great long weekend, and that you’re all feeling great, gearing up for a new week. I am currently feeling like I’ve been awake for 72 hours straight, or maybe that’s just how long today felt. Since today is President’s Day, that meant there was no school today. For some reason, on days when Carl has no school, the day tends to feel like it’s anywhere between 12 and 93493935434 hours long. It also didn’t help that we didn’t venture out of the house for any reason today. Usually, we at least drop Carl off at school and pick him up, which helps to break up the day a little. In any case, today felt like an absolute marathon, where there was some asshole standing on the side of the track with a sign that said, “ALMOST THERE!”, except every time I passed that douchebag, there was another guy standing there with a different sign that said, “JUST KIDDING, DUMBASS! KEEP GOING!”

This morning, the kids and I were in the backyard, and I busted out the chalk and drew a hopscotch grid on the ground. I thought it’d be pretty neat to teach Carl how to play hopscotch, and as I drew the grid on the ground, I fondly remembered the days my friends and I spent playing hopscotch when I was a kid, and how much I loved that game. As I explained the rules to Carl, I felt this inward sense of pride, kind of feeling like I was passing along the hopscotch baton, letting him in on that awesome experience I had as a child. Teaching him something new. There I was, parent of the year.

Until we played. Now, I don’t know if any of you are familiar with the rules of hopscotch, but you stand behind the 1, throw a rock, and whatever number the rock lands on, you skip on your way to the 10. Then on the way back to the 1, you pick up the rock, and continue on until you get to the 1. As I remembered it, it was quite an enjoyable game, and something we used to spend ages playing in the summertime when I was a kid. We used to draw a hopscotch grid on the street on our block when I was 8 or 9, and it seemed like we could play for hours.

I don’t particularly remember my ankles feeling like they were going to shatter, and feeling like I was going to fall to the floor with bones sticking out from both of my legs, screaming in agony and writhing as paramedics rushed me away from the scene, leaving my children behind, stunned and horrified, but that’s exactly how I felt after about 2 1/2 rounds of hopscotch this morning. I also don’t remember breathing so hard that I could’ve been mistaken for someone who was being chased by Michael Myers, but that was another story entirely. All I could keep saying was, “how the hell did I play this so much as a kid?!”

I felt sorry for Carl, because at one point, I’m pretty sure he thought I was going to keel over and die. I think it was the part when I was doubled over, hands on my knees, saying, “if that damn rock lands on a 6 again and makes me hop three numbers on one foot, I’m going to lose my shit.”

It was really a sight to behold- I don’t think I’ve bent over while balanced on one leg in over ten years, but I realize now the harrowing ordeal that flamingos are faced with daily. I have a whole new respect for those silly looking pink birds. They spend most of their lives balanced on one leg. I was doing it for seconds at a time, and I felt like I was caught in some type of sadistic, medieval torture.

So this post is dedicated to you, flamingos. Most people might dismiss you as weird birds that eat a lot of shrimp and are all wimpy and pink, but you’re a bunch of badasses.

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