#970: Throws like a kid

There should be an expression, “Throws like a kid.” Because most girls throw just fine. But kids, now that’s a different story.

Have you ever stood next to your child, as s/he says, “Wanna see me throw this rock into the water?”? You nod, sure, and think that the rock is going to propel forward and slice the water cleanly. But no. Next thing you know, you thank your lucky stars that you have quick reflexes, because the rock is hurled sideways and slightly backwards, and almost knocks you square in the forehead. Your own kid almost Davided your Goliath. It happens with balls too. You’d better stand far back and be quick on your toes, or else you could become a victim of The Throwing Terror.

You see rocks. I see potential slayers of innocent bystanders.

“No, no,” you say to the child, slightly amused but mostly horrified by your near-death by errant rock. “See, you pull your hand back this way, behind your head, and aim for the front. Throw in front of you. Not behind. Not sideways. You could hit somebody with that thing.” But no matter how hard you try, the child’s aim and sense of direction—combined with an arm that still doesn’t quite know what it’s doing—are always on the verge of maiming or concussing you. You’re this close to banning throwing.

But then, one day, Eureka! It happens. The arm goes back, as previously directed so many times, but instead of the projectile being hurled any-which-way, it actually goes where the child means for it to go. A beautiful arc, and the object is hurled directly in front, or downwards, but certainly not backwards or straight at your face.

For the Girl, I think this took place about three or four years ago. Her throwing’s pretty decent now—not strong, but at least correctly-aimed. And for the Boy, I just really noticed it today. He held a rock in his little hand, and said, “Do you think this would look like a meteor hitting the Earth, if I throw this rock into the sand?” I agreed to watch, and got ready to cover my face. But you know what? The rock hit where the thrower intended. Then he did it again, and again, the rock didn’t have a mind of its own.

Now convinced that both kids can throw properly, I can enjoy whatever sport or activity that we’re doing together involving projectiles, and strop cringing and ducking.

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