Blood Sport a.k.a. Four Square

Bode has been begging me to have lunch with him in the cafeteria for a few weeks. I don’t care how busy you are, when your sweet third grader is is proud enough to share you with his buddies, you go.

I adore these friends of his. He’s been lucky enough to have three of his besties–Nicky, Kyler and Curtis–in his class. They practically fell over themselves trying to impress me and hung onto my every word as if I was the funniest woman on earth. Too bad they’re only a few decades too young; why couldn’t boys have been so enamored by me when I was their age? Oh yeah. It was because I was too busy showing them up.

All these boys are obsessed with Four Square. I don’t wanna brag but I was a pretty ferocious Four Squarer in my youth so after lunch, I followed them to the playground where the showdown began.

Competition isn’t the same as an adult. As a kid, it’s raw, pure and exhilaration in its purest form as you feel like you can conquer the world.

At a church activity a couple of weeks ago, I played volleyball with a group of kids and some killer Bolivians. We’d played wallyball a few weeks prior and had a blast! We were fierce but kept it fun for the kids so I chuckled when my friend Jenny came up to me the next day at church and said her husband had asked who I was, saying “She’s really competitive.” Little did he know I was placing nice.

There were no niceties on that playground for Four Square. Pretty much every single boy from third grade was in on the action and these kids were incredibly good. Bode was one of the best. With a July birthday, he’s one of the youngest and smallest but he’s smart and fast. Plus, he’s always practicing at home.

I fueled a childhood’s worth of adrenaline into that game and came out on top over and over again, reigning in the Head Square many rounds over. Just think: being beaten by not only a girl, but a MOM! My friend Julie later told me how good her son Nicky said I was and that she wanted to watch next time I played.  The other kids weren’t nearly as impressed. The next day when I dropped Bode off in his class, I smack-talked ‘em all. The smiles were gone.

Me thinks it will be a while before they invite me back.


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