This weekend we went to the park with another family. The afternoon started innocently enough with a walk down to the lake and a picnic. Afterward, the kids wanted to play soccer and quickly enlisted the adults to act as human boundary markers/referees.
The kids were playing happily, but it quickly became apparent that even though the physical number of players was even the teams were horribly unbalanced. One of my daughters is freakishly athletic and she was out-playing everyone else on the field. Nobody was really bothered by this but I pulled her aside a couple times and told her to back off a bit. It didn't work.
One of the players wanted to break for water and rather than stopping the game I decided I would sub for her and take the opportunity to even things up a bit. I jumped into the game and was giving my daughter a run for her money while also passing the ball to the kids who'd been getting out-played. Brilliant, right? What could go wrong?
I was giving my daughter a concentrated dose of see-this-is-how-it-feels-to-get-your-butt-kicked when everything went awry. I can still see it in slow motion. Hannah had the ball and was rushing for the goal. My objective was to stop her and pass to the younger players. So I did what any brilliant strategist would do -- I charged her! It was just Hannah, the ball and me, and I knocked the ball loose and into the trajectory of the opposing team. I also knocked Hannah on her butt. And made her cry. And she doesn't cry easily. Remember those Charlie Brown cartoons where Charlie runs to kick the football and ends up flying through the air before hitting the ground like a sack of potatoes?
Now in my defense, the other adults who were watching swear that I didn't knock her over. They insist that I wasn't overly aggressive with her. It all appeared reasonable. I was just trying to shift the advantage a little for cryin' out loud. Tell me I didn't just body check my own daughter.
In my heart I know I didn't really body check her. I also know that if I ever embark upon a course of action with the end result being to give one of my daughters a concentrated dose of see-this-is-how-it-feels-to-get-your-butt-kicked, well, I might step back and think for a minute.