08 January 2010

love equals

My parents taught me and my siblings to play tennis mostly by demonstration. We would all go to the courts, and they would play. The four (or six) of us would spread out on the adjoining court and throw tennis balls at each other over the net. Flail our rackets around. Lay on the side in the grass. Push the babies fast in the stroller. I can't put a clear finger on how old I was. It just seems like a regular ritual during my childhood.

We got better. Relatively. Anything was better once we started making intentional contact, racket and ball. From the front.

Sometimes we made up our own scoring system, similar to ping pong. Or basketball. Both seemed more logical. What does "Love" equal? Really? I always thought that someone must have got it backwards, that it should be the culminating score of the winner.

The best games were later when I was in high school. Those were hard years. I was always in a lot of trouble it seemed. With my family. Teachers. Coaches. Sibs. But every so often, a couple of my friends - Linda, Barb or Brett - would rescue me from myself, even for the briefest moment. We would drive fast out of Shelley, west towards I-15 to a park on the east bank, inside curl of the Snake River. (Searle Park - was that its name? Or is that just what we called it?) To play tennis.

We were such rebels. Perhaps. Or maybe we were just a bunch of kids being kids. Those were good times. We played, scored Love-to-Win, argued line-checks and serving faults, form, rackets. Then sat around in the grass or leaned up on the car to talk about life. School. Parents. The Future. We might have smoked a cigarette. Or drank a Pepsi or a Mountain Dew from a glass bottle.

Given some genie-wish opportunity, I wouldn't re-live those angst-filled, chaotic years for any price. But I remain grateful for those softer memories of tennis. Family. And good friends.


1 comment:

  1. Sherri,

    Yes! Like you, I sure wouldn't go back to those teenage years, but even amidst the craptitude, there are some fine memories, friends who stood by me, small moments that saved me.