So I’m standing on the front porch, shouting to The Husband, “Hey! You took my keys—I need them back!” He turns around and (with no warning whatsoever) tosses them in the air a good 30 feet to me. I effortlessly catch them.
This happens all the time. Tall will be coming home from school and he found some sort of special rock he wants me to see, “Here, catch!” Short is walking down to the basement with one more dirty sock for the laundry, “Heads up, Mommy!”
At the high-end kitchen store, my co-workers will toss tin containers of hot chocolate at me or plastic jars of turkey brine or tubes of decorating icing or neatly-folded linen tablecloths. No problem.
The reason this is so miraculous to me is: it wasn’t always this way. As a child, I was very klutzy. Even if a (light) ball was tossed (gently) directly into my hands, I would miss it. I would watch in horror as the ball would roll far away from me, mocking (“I'm over here, Miss Coordinated!”). It's like I just could not make the simple connection of having my eyes see the ball, radio that information to my brain, and have my brain relay that data to my hands in time. The hands that dropped everything seemed to belong to someone else, not me. When the ball would (inevitably) drop, I was always surprised: how could this have happened (yet again)?
In school, I was the last one chosen (shocking, I know) for any type of team thing where a ball or ball-like object might be involved. Luckily, there are so very very few sports involving tossing/ throwing/ hitting/ kicking/ catching a ball or reasonable facsimile (only baseball, softball, soccer, lacrosse, tennis, badminton, volleyball, hockey, basketball, water polo, ping-pong, dodgeball, kickball, Frisbee, golf). Nope, this barely affected my life at all. In fact, there were a plethora of sports to choose from that involved no ball whatsoever (namely cross-country running—easy for me, as I would just mentally picture myself running away from the ball).
As I got older, the Curse Of Not Knowing How To Catch followed me. Drop my sweater out of my backpack and a nice teacher tosses it a mere three feet to my waiting hands? Floor. On a date and my lipstick rolls out of my purse under the table and my date tosses it back? Lands on my foot. Kind clerk at the grocery store attempting to hand me the roll of towels that slipped away? Come on, why bother?
This all changed one day when I turned 35. I don’t know if the stars and moons and planets aligned differently than they had for the previous 34 years, but somehow someway (I am not questioning my good luck here), I could suddenly catch ANYTHING. It became my new Super Power. Balls, pucks, Frisbees, oranges, umbrellas, tote bags—if you could throw it, I could catch it. (And the necessary corollary of throwing perfectly and having said object land in the intended spot? yes, I simultaneously acquired this fabulous skill as well.)
Honestly, I give credit to this phenomenal development to my body, which, after 34 long years of practicing, just finally got it right.
Doesn’t help me much now, though. All those people I would’ve desperately wanted to impress years ago on the playground have grown up and moved away. And no talent scouts are stalking me, waiting to see me catch some keys.
(“Mom’s Our Victor!”)