it has been a while – a flu epidemic mostly got in the way of life and writing. I really hope you like this one – it’s about Prima and the ways in which she is not like me. Lucky girl.
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For the Londoners, have a great Olympics and thank you all for reading.
I have never understood the jubilation people feel over the sporting victories of others. When Team England wins at any sport, in any competition, my English husband runs around the room, clenching his fists and punching the air. He then drops to his knees (in a manly way) and shouts to the heavens, “Go on Englaaand!” (fists still clenched). It is as visceral as it is vicarious and I just don’t get it.
Until last weekend, when my 8 year old daughter Prima, miraculously played netball with her new team. Prima is Sri Lankan therefore she will probably always be smaller than most of her primary school peers. We are a small and lithe race which makes us physically able to scale tall coconut trees, squeeze into small spaces and wage jungle warfare. Play netball? Not so much. Prima is also related to me – I have very poor spatial awareness and dangerously bad hand-to-eye co-ordination. Prima is so much like me in other ways that her non-sporting career seemed genetically pre-destined.
When I was a child I wasn’t very good at sport so I stopped doing it. I am embarrassed to admit that I am like that with many things. If I can’t do it really well, then I don’t do it. It’s not a good quality, I know.
So what made last Saturday morning truly miraculous for me was that last year, Prima sucked at netball. She spent most of last season running in the wrong direction. Despite that, this year, she asked to play again. She was graded into Team Z and there she was on Saturday, scampering all over the court (in the right direction this time), calling for the ball, not being afraid of it, catching it, dropping it, passing it, tripping over it and even shooting it. She was shooting it.
Suddenly, I felt it. I wanted to clench my fists, punch the air, drop to my knees and shout to the heavens, “Go on Primaaa!” Of course, I didn’t, because I would have looked like an idiot.
Last Saturday, Prima was laughing hard and trying even harder. I was just so proud of her because, unlike me, my daughter had the courage to run onto the netball court of life, wave her arms around like crazy and go for the ball. “Go on Primaaa!” I shouted (on the inside), Mummy loves you so much.