I met my husband as an undergrad at Illinois State University. Long story short, he was the roommate of my friend Joy's friend Troy. We got to know each other by joining the guys at the park on the weekends. They would spend long afternoons grilling and throwing some sort of ring around.
Just getting to know Fran, I said, "So you guys are pretty obsessed with Frisbee, huh?" He and his friend Steve looked at each other, laughed and shook their heads. "It's not a Frisbee. It's an Aerobie."
I rolled my eyes. Little did I know, I would be doing that same eye roll many times for the next fourteen years.
I sat there with my friends and tried to look cute/cool/like I totally wasn't secretly staring at someone.
Fran grilled up some cheeseburgers, which were actually quite tasty. Who was this college guy who could cook? At the time, if I microwaved some popcorn without burning it I considered it a success.
That day Fran asked me if I wanted to throw the Aerobie around. He showed me his tried and true techniques. I had laughed earlier, but there is a little bit of skill involved in throwing this flying ring.
Soon enough, we were running, laughing and playing Aerobie like two cheeseburger eating superstars. I didn't fall in love over a candlelit dinner or traveling on a romantic rendezvous. It was all over an Aerobie.
Fast forward 14 years from that first Aerobie toss. A dog, a wedding and two kids later. Fran hung the Aerobie up in the basement "in all its glory." His words.
He hasn't been playing the Aerobie very much lately. A job and kids don't always allow for a spur of the moment BBQ and Aerobie toss in the park.
This morning, he took it down and decided today was the day. He was going to teach Lilia how to play.
Franky and I got a head start walk to the park and Fran and Lilia, on her bike, caught up with us. It was a hot morning, so Fran and Lilia got started on a basketball court, which was halfway in the shade. Franky tried too, but he quickly tuckered out started searching for ants.
Fran gave Lilia the same advice he gave me fourteen years ago about angling it just so, tossing it straight in front of you and all of his other famous strategies.
I watched them from my spot in the shade and thought about the funny things time will do to you. Fourteen years ago I said I would never get married, more or less have kids. It wasn't something that had interested me.
Now, here I was watching my husband teach our seven year old daughter how to play his beloved Aerobie. She was so excited the first time she caught it in mid air. Fran and I both cheered.
The cheering got Franky's attention so he wanted to start playing again too. We all ran out to a bigger field and were running, laughing and throwing that ring around like Fran and I did so many years ago.
When the kids got tired, they ran over and played at the park while Fran and I continued on. I jumped dramatically and tried to catch the ring on my arm. Fran tried catching it on his head. We no longer have to pretend to be cool, because clearly, we just are.
We all walked home together, after properly dusting off the Aerobie. Tomorrow looks to be another beautiful day. Perfect for tossing around that magical flying ring.
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