Monday, January 01, 2024

Frisbee Golf with Patrick

This summer there was a house on the way to the pool with a disc golf basket set up in their yard. Every time we drove past, Benjamin would say, "Look at that! They have disc golf!" So disc golf had been on my radar since then, though it wasn't until I saw a set pop up during a big sale that I made the leap. It hid in our house for months, waiting for Christmas—with the big bonus being that Uncle Patrick was coming for Christmas (and Uncle Patrick is pretty much a professional frisbee player (like, he played and coached Ultimate Frisbee for years and years)).

I was fully committed to waiting for Christmas morning, until I saw the forecast for Christmas and Boxing Day was full of rain. Christmas Eve, on the other hand, was lovely and warm I decided that it could be an early present and brought it out on Christmas Eve afternoon. 

Uncle Patrick taught the kids (mine plus some from the neighbourhood) the rules of the game, and gave them some wonderful instruction on how to throw discs properly.

My understanding of the game is that it's essentially like...croquet...but with frisbees. Phoebe's understand of the game is that getting the frisbee into the basket is—for whatever reason—something to celebrate, and should thus be done as often as possible.




Here's Alexander, surprised at having scored!

And here's Phoebe getting ready to score again:

I don't even know if you say "score" in disc golf. Maybe you say "goal!" Who knows?

Here's Benjamin taking his shot:

And Miriam:

And here's Rachel peeling apart some banana plant stems that Benjamin and his friend Reed chopped down the other day. Those strings were very fascinating—fibrous when we expected them to be sticky.

Here she is finally taking her turn:

Here's everyone coming down the hill to take their next shot:

Here's Benjamin ready to go:

And here he is doing his victory dance because he made it into the basket:

Here's Miriam taking her shot:

And doing her victory dance:

Patrick and I aren't even that far apart in age, but we are far enough apart in age's been a while since we've hung out. Like a long while. 

Patrick visited us in Egypt in 2009 when he was just barely 20 and I was 24 (we traveled to Israel, even though I was far too pregnant to be safely traveling). And I think hat's the last time I've spent a considerable number of consecutive days with him (I guess I saw him last year when I flew out to Utah and he was staying at my mom's house between Hawaii and Austria, but we didn't spend a ton of time doing stuff together on that trip, and there was also a little overlap when we lived in Spanish Fork before he moved to Greece, but even then it was a few hours here and there, not consecutive days of each other's company). For anyone keeping track, we'll be 35 and 39 this year (yikes!) so it's been about 15 years since we've truly visited.

Patrick and I in 2009

You wouldn't necessarily think that a four-year gap would put siblings in such different worlds, kind of did.

By 2009 I had already been married for about four years, which meant that he was 16 when Andrew and I got married. But by that time I had already been going to university for two or three years, and Patrick was still in high school. And before that I was in high school and he was in middle school. And before that I was in middle school and he was in elementary school. In fact, we only ever overlapped at school for one year—when I was in grade five and he was in grade one (and, I suppose, for half of his kindergarten year). 

We basically grew up orbiting one another in the same household. 

Originally, (I'm told) I resented him for being born so stinking close to my birthday and for having the audacity to be born a dumb boy baby instead of the girl baby I wanted (what can I say? I was a stinker). 

Disclaimer: Here I was not actually resentful of Patrick, but obviously was feeling miserable for some other reason...

When he was older and was told how upset I was to have a baby brother rather than a baby sister, he resented the fact that I resented his existence (not realizing that by the time he was told the story that I was used to having him around and had no hard feelings about him as a person). 

This picture was even taken on my birthday—and I don't look too bummed about having a baby brother!

And—golly!—I think they (older family members who joked about how much I disliked Patrick) may have been exaggerating things a bit because in most (but not all—like I said, I could be a stinker) pictures with him I look fine, or even like I adore him. And I distinctly remember being in charge of (and loving) making sure his swing kept swinging. And I remember playing with him and deciding that his favourite colour must be green because he seemed to always choose green toys (no one believed me, but that baby was a genius and always chose the green toys when given the option). 

Later I resented him for throwing all my Li'l Babies down the drain in the yard (but I also remember tenderly—and with much difficulty—lugging him home after he skinned both his knees so he could get bandaged up, and I remember searching and searching for him when he fell asleep while playing hide-and-seek, and feeling so worried that he might might actually be gone (because it was a time in my life when it felt like siblings sometimes did just disappear)). And he resented me for being left "in charge" after school (but I also remember how hilarious he was and that I always proudly told my teachers the funny things he said and I remember what a deliciously devoted big brother he was when Josie was born, lugging her into the dark and scary basement to help himself be brave). 

Anyway, thank goodness we all grow up, right? And how fun to have watched Patrick grow from a timid little guy into an adventurous and amazing human! We're so lucky that he came to visit with us and that he so willingly shares his knowledge and passions with us.

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