When Cris, Dusty and Chad were little I had a great idea to teach them to play jacks. I loved jacks when I was a girl. I mean, what is not to like? A red rubber ball and ten metal pieces that felt good and heavy in your hand.
To play jacks you spill them out then bounce the ball and with the same hand pick up one jack. Then you try again, picking up two jacks and so it goes. You can play against yourself or a friend.
It is cheap, takes only a bit of space and is portable. And, as a young mother, I thought that it would be a great way to develop hand-eye coordination in my sons. They didn't know anything about jacks and were not prejudiced against it for being a girl's game.
But, I found out why it is a girls game.
I gathered the boys and showed them how to play. Since it had a ball, they thought it would be great fun. They got started and I went to do a never ending job like laundry or cooking or something.
The next thing I know there is crying and hollering and when I got close, blood! What? "What are you guys doing? What happened?"
One of the boys in his enthusiasm for the game was diving for the jacks or the ball or something and his bare knee landed on a jack--puncturing it. Time for band-aids and antibiotic ointment.
I got the kid bandaged and tears dried and they decided to try again.
I am not kidding, about 5 minutes later I hear another cry of anguish and came running again. Another boy had blood pouring out of his knee! Who would have thought?
I played jacks for years with various friends and not one of us ever got a jack in the knee. NEVER. Now I have two boys with large band-aids on their knees and one crying, "Why are you making us play this dangerous game?" Can you believe it?
The jacks went in the trash and I was left pondering one of the mysteries of the ages. Boys should not play games that have historically been played by girls. They are just too dangerous. I think they should stick to nice calm, safe games like darts or football.