"No, that won't work," Justin said. "You have to throw to somebody in motion. Mom will run routes for you."
I was just taking a bite out of my second giant chicken salad croissant, and gave him a look.
"What? I can't because of my knee," he said.
"I just think you've found a way to dovetail your dreams of having a quarterback son and a skinny wife," I said.
But after finishing my dinner, I laced up my tennis shoes and we went over to the school playground, which is next to a busy street. I've run routes with Johnny before, but I'm the one who throws it. This is normal. The mom or dad passes the ball and the kid catches it. Whoever is running the routes is the one practicing. So it looked like I'd told my son, "Hey, I'm joining a lady football team. Come run me some drills."
As I ran a post across the field, a couple of cars honked. Yeah, I get it, my ship has sailed. Ha. Ha. Or never come into port, actually.
Once we started, though, I got into it. I was like, "You can throw this far, Johnny. You just need to train your eyes. See, you did it!" For my part, I was jumping and diving for balls--training my body to think it was invincible. (I found out the next day it isn't.)
Soon, some Boy Scouts came outside. I was like, oh, great. Now I'll really feel like a fool. But they looked to be in high school and were playing on the swings, so I figured we were in the same boat.
The next night, Johnny tried to throw J.J. routes, but he doesn't know how to catch the ball. In parochial league, they have a weight limit for who can carry the ball, and at age four, J.J. is approaching it, so he probably won't need to learn that particular skill set. But it would be nice if Johnny could teach him. Then Johnny could be the quarterback and his brothers (not his mother), the receivers. Even though it was fun diving for those footballs.