We could hit a tennis ball over the trees to land in the schoolyard where Cody used to play with other students. But, we're not there. We're on the courts, trying to break our record of 12.
Almost after every unsuccessful volley, Cody declares his hate for himself. There's lots of crying and anxiety is wrapped around his sweet 10 year old face.
But, the hawk is flying like a kite over our heads; the sun is shining kindly; and, I'm running off a few winter pounds. I feel like twirling my tennis racket like that old high school baton. So, it just happens and the bright blue swallows it for a minute. I feel lit up and healthy and glad to be outdoors.
But Cody can't get around his not being McEnroe-like, and he's mad and anxious and is a freakin' loser whom he hates. I get a momentary swell inside, of frustration, of anger, that Cody can't escape a sinister mental shadow even in the most cloudless of days.
"C'mon -- let's do some tryin' instead of cryin'!"
"Put those emotions in a box for right now! Don't let 'em control you!"
I must say these or similar words about fifty times through the course of our hour and a half tennis session. But, the day is beautiful, and I love to be sporty and athletic.
Maybe tomorrow, we'll get to 20, and maybe Cody will be able to stiff-arm his inner assailant. Maybe he will learn through motor activity to toughen up. Maybe tennis is the answer .......