Do I Throw Like a Girl? I Can Only Hope.


star wars stormtrooper

Madison found the T-shirt in Target, which twisted up a familiar put-down and tossed it back in boys’ faces.

“Yeah, I kick like a girl,” it admitted. “Jealous?” You ought to be, boys. I get it. A man will call his boy “son,” name him after himself, or even pass on a II, III or IV. He’s your heir. He’s your pee-in-the-snow partner. He’s your buckaroo; a chip off the old block, even.

Little You.

He might also become mama’s boy, a lover-not-a-fighter, or, heaven forbid, a Thomas the Tank Engine fan. A man will call his girl many things, but likely, the family name will get wiped out.

She cannot be Eli Junior.

She’s a champ, but not a buckaroo. Forget about the snow. You can, however, bring your pretty girls to the park and sling a football around, with good form. (Yes, I can do it, too). You go, girl.

Day at the pool

Sorry boys.

Sometimes, it’s just not your day. Like one Independence Day at the neighborhood swimming pool. We packed the floaties and diving toys, flip flops and towels, and trekked to the pool on a day that featured free burgers, dogs, and drinks.

An American Dream, in my book.


Madison and Hayden cannon-balled in, football tucked under Hayden’s arm. Amid dives, splashes, and lifeguard whistles, an intriguing keep-away match developed. Teams divided down gender lines: Two Pacheco girls vs. Every Boy in the Pool.

Camdyn, already ashore for a hot dog and can of generic root beer, watches as one of about seven boys swiped the ball from her sisters.

She didn’t dive in to help. Did she know she wouldn’t have to? She parked it at the end of my lounge chair like it was a box seat. The look she shot back at me said she felt sorry for the boys – and that she remembered I was a boy, too.

Where was I?

Boys take their shots

Absorbed in the match, yet set to jump in if things got chippy. Honestly, I rarely worry about this with my girls. Boys take their shots. My girls take them right back. The boys jived and celebrated tiny victories.

They held the captive ball high, taunting the girls into any “girly” action they could muster. A plea? A wail?

Not today. Instead, Elise and Marie initiated a little silent communication. They postured themselves around their indolent foes. I noticed the boys’ throws, for all the trash talk, becoming safe, ordinary, lacking in any degree of courage or difficulty.

It didn’t take long for the boys to make a mistake.


One kid launched the football toward another boy that missed the mark horribly. Marie darted after the free ball, beating a couple of boys to it. The beaten boys converged, suddenly interested again now that possession was lost.

Hands shot up, arms flailed, and through it all, Marie’s goggled face looked for an out.

She slipped away, and played the ball beautifully to open water for her sister. The race was on. It was over faster than a Joey Chestnut hot dog. Elise, first to the ball, hoisted it over her head, and sought out her options as the unkempt turd herd descended.


She spotted me on the lounge chair, and heaved a perfect pass over her defenders (and the one boy poolside who ambled in to try and save his gender.)

We were every bit Joe Montana to Dwight Clark. Touchdown!

Game over. But that Johnny-come-lately kid? He turned to me and jutted out his greedy hand. “Gimme the ball!” he yipped in his pre-pubescent way, somehow underestimating my allegiance to the winning side.

“I don’t think so, son,” I gloated. “This is my ball. Those are my girls.”

Take your heirs, your juniors, your benevolent cartoon trains.


I’ll take the kids who throw like girls.

allin fierce quote


  1. LOVE! That’s so awesome. This reminds me of a girl I used to be friends with in high school. It was her and her sister and they kicked ass at every sport. I sat and watched her at a party one night beat every single guy there at the pool table. Guys wanted her and girls wanted to be her. Today she is one of the coolest, sweetest, smartest women I know.

    1. Thanks Kathy! I love when a girl’s kick-assness is admired like that, but I also know girls deal with boys who won’t let them play because they don’t want them beating them. Or fathers who berate their sons on the field if a girl happens to get by them. I hope your friend knows she’s kind of a hero.

  2. My oldest son loved Thomas the Tank Engine…so much so, that he re-named our family. I was James. Now he likes My Little Pony (a fact that disturbs me but I love him any way). He throws poorly, just like me. Is there a connection to Thomas? Could be…food for thought!

    1. I think science should explore the link to Thomas – although I’m also waiting for some bouncer-looking dude to approach me, bloody my nose, and declare himself a Thomas fan. If gender lines can bend for my girls, they ought to for boys, too, but that’s fodder for another post. Maybe you and your boy could just come to a spiral-throwing clinic by my girls and me. Bring food.

      I wonder if any NFL quarterbacks were Thomas fans … or My Little Pony fans. I need to look into that.

      Didn’t you say there’s a term for boy fans of My Little Pony?

      1. Yup – bronies! I’ve never worried too much about gender stereotypes. Little Guy liked Angelina Ballerina and Bob the Builder. I never got my girl but I got to play dress up and have tea parties any way! I wonder if there are any NFL players who like My Little Pony..I’d like to think there are! 🙂

      2. Bronies! It kind of sounds tough at least. I bet Brian Urlacher was a My Little Pony kid.

  3. Ashley T. says:

    Love it! And I like this wordpress formatting a lot better! 🙂

    1. Thanks AT! I used a different theme, and created that header all by myself in another program. I’m not convinced that green blob on the left should stay. Any ideas for a better image?

      1. Ashley T. says:

        There are a few sites that offer free backgrounds…google and see if you find something you like….I kind of like the green though.

      2. The first ones I saw were so girly. They made me want to blog about girl issues and cooking. Oh wait, that’s what I blog about anyway.

        I need to find one with dinosaurs.

  4. Alison says:

    Girls kick ass. Period.

  5. Chris Carter says:

    Another great story from an AWESOME dad! I could picture the whole thing play out as you so beautifully captured each moment in your delightful words! I wanna hang with your girls!!! I can’t wait to see how they fare as adults… BRING IT!! Btw- LOVE the new look! I think the green blobs should be pictures of your girls and you doing all the fun things you talk about…just an idea of course! 😉

    1. I wondered about using pics of my kids … I don’t use their real names, but I have used pictures of Grace on a blog or two. Glad you liked the story! There’s many more about their triumphs, but there’s also one or two about the obstacles girls still seem to face. I have to train myself to let them play out, but it’s tough to keep from getting my hands in it and acting like a dad.

      Thanks Chris!

  6. Shalene says:

    Love it! Your girls sound awesome.

    1. Thanks Shalene! They’re kind of my heroes.

  7. It is really great your girls can hold their own!! This will get them far in life….It’s too bad though that there are still narrow minded dads teaching their sons to be so macho they can’t handle a strong woman when they grow up. Sends the wrong message to the boy, and to the girl who hears this who happens to be good at something, that as she grows, she has to “dumb it down” for a guy who can’t handle being beaten.

    1. You’re right, and I hadn’t even considered the message they’re sending to the boys. I have a future post on the topic, for sure. None of us – boy or girl – should feel compelled to ever dumb it down!

  8. letizia says:

    You’re such a great storyteller and your girls are just fantastic 🙂 Loved reading this post!

    1. Why thank you, Letizia. It’d be a shame if these girls’ hijinx were to occur without proper documentation. I’m just like the court stenographer, kind of.

  9. Rosey says:

    I loved your post, like always. I could totally see your girls rocking the pass in the pool Take that boys! Oh wait… I have a house full of boys… well, I have a girl too, so take that boys! 🙂

    1. Thanks Rosey. It hardly feels like pool weather, but I wanted to tell this story! I think you can appreciate Girl Power and still give props to the boys in your house. But I’m with you – take *that*, boys. (And I’m a boy).

  10. Awesome sauce! Go girl power! Go Daddy! You played that well. Hannah, 17 & rich from summer job, was headed to the mall with friends. I told her to be sure to keep the strap on her clutch around her wrist and is anyone should attack her for her wallet to give up her dough. She looked at me like I flew in on a spaceship and said, “I’d like to see them try!!!” A brother ten years older and all the childhood? fights, a daddy with a rep of being the guy in Caneyhead you don’t want to cross, throwing hay bales around like frisbees, and toting 50lb sacks of feed have left her feeling able to handle anything.
    Visit me @ Life & Faith in Caneyhead. 😉

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      You’re so kind, Barbara. Yes, girl power rocks. A dad just has to try and not do any harm. Sometimes, we even get it right.

      Hannah’s tale sounds like a post! Is there one? If not, you should!

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