My mom lost her only brother the first week of December. She is the eldest and it was very unexpected for her. No one had any idea that he was so sick.
When I was visiting she was grieving. Remembering his first steps and she also told me the story of him breaking his arm while they were playing baseball. My mind screeched to a halt. My mother, engaged in a physical activity? My mother had never modeled any type of physical activity for me at all as a child. The idea of her playing at a sport, even informally, had my mind spinning. I always assumed she had been a 'bookworm' child, she was always so sedentary. She was never interested in any sports on tv.
I questioned her and she told me she had played baseball all through childhood, she had loved it but then her mother made her stop at 12 'because she was 'too big to be playing with boys', this was in 1938. I offered that perhaps if she had been born 50 years later she could have played softball at the Olympics and she told me that she was much too awkward.
A wave of unexpected fury washed over me. My mother had told me previously how her mother had told her she was awkward. Perhaps I thought bitterly if she had been allowed to play sports she would have been comfortable in her body. I didn't really believe she was ever awkward anyway. Then I sighed and relaxed my anger at my poor grandmother long dead and just enjoyed knowing something new about my mother.
She told me about how one of the girls who had been 4 years older than her had been a super player, she could never get a hit off of her. She smiled thinking of that old 'tomboy' friend who had later became a nun. I just smiled, my mother played baseball.