Kickball, a game originally played with inflamed, sundried elephant testicles, is considered by most people to be a playground activity for children; however, Kickball has taught me some valuable lessons in life.
“In his courageous travels, famed explorer, James Hankinsmak, befriends the Nobui tribe. It is here in this arid climate that Hankinsmak would witness the game that would later bear his name. He wrote of a game played with inflamed, sundried elephant testicles in which one of the testicles was rolled from an elevated mound to a designated Mohafa (or kicker). The Mohafa is allowed to request speed and texture of the roll, and scoring is determined by the distance of the kick. The importation of Hankinsmak's records to the U.S. has been traced to Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine's 1981 World Tour. With this information now in the hands of Americans, the hybrid of Baseball and Hankinsmak was created - thus introducing... Kickball” (The History of Kickball 1).
Childhood is often an age of innocence. It’s a time of learning how to get along in a big world. It’s a time in which friends grow up and discover who they are and who they want to be. Childhood is the foundation of our lives. This is when we establish rituals and rules that can be useful throughout our lives. Sometimes these rules can be learned though a simple child’s game.
In a small suburb, just outside of Washington, DC, the neighborhood of small tract houses was laid out neatly in rows. The homes were built backyard to backyard in the early 1960’s. Each dwelling was a different color, but mostly the same style. Nearly everyone had a metal screen door with their initial proudly displayed in swirling cursive. The postage stamp sized front yards all connected with one another, up and down the street that was typically crowded with cars. In between the cars was where we played my favorite game. This was where I learned how to play Kickball.
We played Hide and Seek and Red Rover and Freeze Tag and Dodgeball. We rode our bikes and skated on rickety metal skates. You could play all day, until the streetlamps came on, signaling that it was time to go inside. We never heard of organized sports or Little League or soccer teams. Future generations would belong to swim teams and softball teams. They would play travel baseball and Lacrosse. We didn’t have soccer moms to drive us hours away to play. We didn’t have anything like that. Our yards and streets were playgrounds and makeshift classrooms. We loved to play Kickball and we were gaining knowledge along the way, without even realizing it.
My best friend and I were seven. Monica came from a big Catholic family and lived next door. Eric was her brother, older by three years. Tommy Wright was six and lived down at the other end of Kinzer Street. Tommy had dark hair that was always slicked down and plastered to his head with a big cowlick in the front. He hated that cowlick! There were many other...