Why does the mind work the way that it does? Why was I one day suddenly thinking of schoolyard incidents and activities that took place about 55 years ago? But I was. I can't recall which of the following occasions came to mind first the other day, but I'll mention all three memories that camwe to mind in any case.
There was the time when I found myself getting up off the asphalt without knowing how I got there. It was my friends who had to explain to me what had occurred. As I pieced the story together, we had been playing British Bulldog, and I had gone for a tumble trying to elude some tackler. They saw me roll over a number of times before staggering to my feet. Although I could remember playing thr game that day, I was never able to remember falling or even starting on that particular run. My eleven year old self found it quite distressing.
I went home for lunch glad of the comfort I expected to receive only to realize that my mother was out working that day. I was quite distraught by this time and didn't want to go back to school, but I rejected the notion of just staying home without permission, so I headed off. Unhappily. I think I settled in as the afternoon unfolded, but the emotions returned when l told my parents about it at suppertime. I confess to spilling a few tears at the table. And that's where that story ends.
That's the only traumatic story, but I do recall a few other schoolyard games.
One was a version of volleyball where we just caught the ball before sending it back over the net. We played this game for many a recess, and somewhere along the line, I was seen to be good at it and was always chosen early when they were picking up sides. Being chosen early was not something that I was used to, and it was a nice feeling.
I also recall a softball game, perhaps on field day, against the other grade seven class. Our class was winning, and I don't know if it was my first at bat or not, but I swung and missed. Some guy chided me, but another took my side explaining that I just wanted to hit it too. This chatter that I overheard seemed to spark my determination, and I managed to connect with the next pitch and wallop it mightily.
I was never blessed with either great speed or much athletic endurance but always seemed to manage moderately well in games that centered around eye-hand coordination. In later years, this came in handy at the ping pong table and on the tennis court.