Maybe I just want to be one of the cool kids, maybe not. Chances are, I'm not the only adult who has picked one of these up.

I am an adult. I can fake a “business meeting” when I don’t want to stay at the doctor’s office to get a shot and I can drive 15 minutes to go buy a toy on a Tuesday afternoon when I want to.

So I did.

This whole fascination started a few weeks ago when I was volunteering at MUST Ministries and a preteen boy came in playing with this little wooden toy. I wanted to see it, but they don’t take too kindly when you take away a toy from a kid who doesn’t have food. I didn’t want to take it, I just wanted to see it. He was old enough to know to share, if you ask me. I digress.

A few weeks later, I saw some kids at the game playing with the same toy. Days later I noticed that every kid had one. For weeks I couldn’t figure out what it was called. I Googled “ball stringy thing” and every combination of similar words. It wasn’t until this weekend, as I was leaving town that I saw a sign for them—Kendamas.

Now I’m not oddly obsessed with toys. My mother is a P.E. teacher in Alabama and is always searching for something new to do with her throngs of students. This would be the perfect thing for a rainy day station in P.E.  She even teaches several students who can’t walk and are always looking for ways to improve eye-hand coordination. Finding one of these would score me some big brownie points.

I drove around all day Monday looking for one of those vendors, but they weren’t out. I got an email from the Ball Ground Pharmacy who said they sell them every day, so I drove out there—on a rainy Tuesday and all—to get my toy.

On the way home, I couldn’t wait. I know it’s bad, but I don’t text and drive, I don’t drink and drive but apparently Kendama-ing (kendaming?) and driving is irresistible. I almost knocked out my car window in the Chik Fil A drive thru.

Enough of that. You need some room to do this. I decided my kitchen was the safest place. I’m never in there anyways. As long as the coffeemaker remains unharmed, I’m good.

Skip ahead 40 minutes: I finally got the ball in one of the little cups.

Twenty minutes later: I did it again.

OK, so eye-hand coordination has never been my strong suit. I was a dancer. My eye-foot coordination is undoubtedly better than yours. Still, I’m addicted. There’s something cathartic about the repetition that calms anxiety.

I don’t understand video games, and I’m stuck in that weird not-in-college but not-a-parent stage, so I don’t know the cool things with teens. If I had to guess, a few parents have picked these up and tried them, too. Go ahead and admit it.

Until then, I’ll just sit here with my feet on my desk feeling a little like Dr. House. Can you not imagine him having one of these, talking and diagnosing and landing the little ball on the little post?

How many people have knocked their own heads with that ball? Any window casualties? Little sister head bumps? 


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