Dodge Ball Dodging
January 14, 2010
Tonight, our family piled in the car to head to church for “Wednesday Night Clubs.” Fun, crazy times! Dave and I are both helping out with the 1st and 2nd grade girls group. (I have been doing it for 2 years now, and just recruited Dave to help out, as we were a little short-staffed. He has become the absolute star of the group in the eyes of all these 6 and 7-year-olds. They’re all dropping out of their small groups to join his group and take great delight in tackling him, climbing him, swinging from his arms. Very endearing for a wife to see!!)
Anyway! Tonight we had “Gym Night” and played Dodge Ball.
I cannot stand Dodge Ball. I think I still have P.T.S.D. from playing Dodge Ball in that very same church gymnasium 25 years ago. I would go up to the edge of the game, urgently beg someone to gently tag me out on the leg and then slink off in relief to stand with the kids who were trying to pelt the inner circle kids with balls. I was terrified of getting hit by the ball in the head or something, and the sheer suspense of waiting for such a fate was miserable.
So, now, as a leader, I hang back. If there are girls who aren’t Dodge Ball enthusiasts, I chat with them a bit and then tell them in a conspiratory whisper: “I really don’t like playing Dodge Ball. I never have liked it. How about you?” They always look at me with wide, surprised eyes, and they admit it’s not their thing, either. Maybe I’m over-identifying with their relief, but oh! what I would have given for a leader to say that and give me permission not to like Dodge Ball when I was 6, 7, 8 years old.
Dave laughed when I told him my childhood Dodge Ball strategy as a kid. He, apparently, was one of those children who try to take as many poor, defenseless players out as possible.
To each his own. I’ll stay on the fringe, doing what’s comfortable for me. Dodging Dodge Ball altogether.