Gridiron girl

With two parents who (in the dim and distant past) were once fairly sporty, there was always a good chance that one of our three children would develop decent hand-eye co-ordination.

Of course, it’s not one of the two boys: it’s Kara.

Isaac, with his long, lean frame, has the makings of a runner in exactly the same way that his father, with his heavy frame and tree-trunk legs, never did.

But he’s never going to forge a career as a Premier League footballer – he doesn’t have the requisite ability to throw himself balletically to the ground and roll around feigning near-fatal injuries with an acting ability that would put De Niro to shame – and while he’s competent in his weekly martial arts classes, his punches aren’t so much karate chop as pork chop.

Isaac martial artsI mean that jokingly rather than unkindly. He’s a thoughtful, kind and academically inclined soul who makes us proud every day in so many ways. He’s just never going to come home with an FA Cup winner’s medal. That’s okay.

Toby has shown occasional flashes of enthusiasm for sports but his passion seems to lie in his imagination and what he can create with his hands rather than on the playing field. Like Isaac, he loves zooming around on his bike but that’s about it as far as his sporting endeavours go.

Toby cycling

Kara, however, has impressive skills when it comes to kicking a football and has all the makings of a quarterback or a baseball pitcher.

We’ve known this from an early age, from round about the time when she started hurling unwanted food the length of our dining table and unerringly finding her target, accompanied by a delighted cackle just to let us know that it was 100% deliberate.

Kara catching

This is a clip of her from the weekend, where she spent a happy 15 minutes hurling one of her toys at her Grandpa and me with terrifying power and accuracy – Dan Marino to Isaac’s San Marino – and catching our return throws with assurance.

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter whether any or all of our children turn out to be sporty (although I would like them to at least be willing participants for all the health benefits and lessons about team-working and discipline that go with it). But I am delighted that it finally looks like I will have someone to play throw-and-catch with in the park. The fact that it’s our daughter rather than one of our two sons doesn’t bother me one iota.


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