Megamom has been talking about her daughters new sport…. Baton twirling. She was just in a parade and loved the sparkling costumes, the little tattoo she got to wear and all the excitement around her (and I am talking about how excited Megamom gets talking about it, I am sure her daughter was excited too!!) It actually reminded me of my own mother who was also a baton twirler in high school.
Mom used to get her fire baton out every fall when I was young. She kept it in a corner of the garage, so it was usually while the whole family was cleaning that we would come across it. We all begged her to show us how to do it. It really never took to much convincing for her to say yes. (I think it was probably a combination of wondering if she still ‘had it’ and getting out of cleaning the garage for a while.) Dad would always have fuel to put in it and we would all get ready to watch.
My job was to hold the garden hose, “just in case something went wrong”, Dad said. I always secretly hoped that I would get to spray. The idea of getting to soak my mother down with water would be hilarious, plus I would also get to be the hero that saved the whole neighborhood from burning down! I took my job very seriously, but it never happened…. there was always a chance though!
Mom always started out slow and cautiously. She would show the 3 of us the mechanics of how to do each spin and twirl. We all knew these moves. We all had received batons of our own just about every Christmas…. Why did Santa think we even wanted one?! I loved watching the way the flames lit up my Mom’s eyes as the fire twirled close by her face and the whooshing sound of the flame in the wind as it started to spin faster. She would work up to throwing it in the air. Our eyes would be wide open and we held our breath. She caught it every time. This was the sport. It was not what we did with our batons, Mom had skill. She looked so graceful when she twirled that baton.
It always impresses me that people can make some things look so darn easy. Pepper can memorize anything she reads instantly. Taking college courses with her was always frustrating. Skip can whip up a dinner for 20 and not even break a sweat. Our rector can come up with a perfectly personalized prayer on the spur of the moment. Sometimes, my kids are impressed with how easy I can make driving look, especially when they try to move the car around our yard. My kindergarten students are impressed with how perfectly I can cut out a circle. Everyone has skills. I probably owned and had access to 20 batons growing up and a mother just wishing she could impart her knowledge on me…. But, Baton twirling was not one of my skills. Now spraying that hose… I bet I’d have been damned good at that!! ☺
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