Charlie Bertsch (cbertsch) wrote,
Charlie Bertsch

Born That Way

I bought Skylar the shiny, silver basketball I'd been promising her all week. When I first mentioned that I'd seen one at Foothills Mall, I expected her to express mild interest and move on. But she brought it up every day. Because Kim was working late all week, I'd pick Bean up and, as we headed down Campbell, point out the new copper-covered dome on the astonishingly elaborate retail-office complex they're building on the southwest side of the intersection with Skyline. "Will my basketball look like that, dad?" I told her it would, "only in silver."

She was delighted with the acquisition and proceeded to practice "one hand dribbling" for an hour in our kitchen. I gave her some pointers -- "Bend forward at the waist. Remember to use your fingertips instead of your palm." -- and watched as she made significant progress in a matter of minutes. Apparently, whatever has kicked into gear with her on the reading front has its equivalent on the sporting front. Come to think of it, I didn't start playing sports with any interest until I had started reading. Perhaps there's a connection.

At any rate, when she started trying to pass the ball back and forth between her hands, she realized that dribbling went much easier with her right hand. "Does that mean I'm right-handed?" All of a sudden, a cloud passed over her face. "Is something wrong, honey?" She frowned. "I wish I weren't born Republican, dad." I asked her what she meant. "You know. Republicans are on the right. I want to be on the left."

Suppressing a smile, I reminded her that I'm also right-handed, but practiced dribbling with my left hand until I actually became more proficient dribbling that way than I am with my right. That satisfied her. Soon she was switching from left to right with what for her -- her gross motor skills continue to lag far behind her fine ones -- is remarkable aplomb. But, as I watched her take pleasure in her rapid improvement, I couldn't help but marvel at the connections she makes and the conclusions to which they have the potential to lead her. To paraphrase a spider named Charlotte, she's "Some Girl."
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