Friday, June 20, 2008

How Summer Was Meant To Be

This week has been the fulfillment of everything that I had envisioned when plotting my Idyllic Summer.

At the baseball game on Monday night, one of our kids got his first hit of the season. This particular child had not even attempted to swing at a ball since the second game of the season when he was hit in the side of the head by the pitcher. Instead, he would step out of the batter’s box and let each pitch go by whether it was a good pitch or not.

Hugh tried everything in his coaching arsenal and nothing would convince the kid to take a swing; he was simply too terrified of being hit by the ball again. Finally, a few weeks ago and in total desperation, Hugh promised to take the whole team fishing if the kid would just swing, he didn’t have to hit, he just had to stay in the box and swing. The rest of the boys like to fish and the prospect of a fishing trip with Coach was enough to turn them into the loudest most encouraging cheering section you ever heard which, I think the kid in question really needed.

When he hit the ball on his second swing on Monday night, the cheering was deafening. Hugh was jumping up and down, the kid’s father was jumping up and down, the entire dugout was jumping up and down and the opposing team was looking at us all like “Folks, it’s just a base hit, damn.” We didn’t care; it was a Hallmark movie moment.

Of course, once the kid was on first base and the rest of the team was gloating over the promised fishing trip, Hugh upped the ante; get the kid all the way home and he would take everyone out for hamburgers after the fishing. The team looked at him like “Done” and, it was, they brought the kid home and, for the first time in his nine years, that kid scored a run.

Hugh marked the date and the accomplishment on the game ball and gave it to the kid and you never saw anyone so proud of a tattered ball in all your life, I assure you. There wasn't a dry eye in the grandstands. Except for the other team, of course, la-hooosers.

Anyhoodle, Tuesday night; Jana and I saw SATC, as I mentioned in an earlier post and, Wednesday night we played our last baseball game of the regular season. We got smoked but we didn’t care, or at least, I didn’t care as my stat-keeping duties were finally over (except for the possibility that I will have to reprise my role as statistician at the up-coming tournament but, I’m not thinking about that , al, la,la, I can’t hear youuu).

Jana and her son joined us at the game and, afterwards, we ate dinner and sat in the rockers on the porch long into the night, drinking wine and watching the kids ride their bikes up and down the hill in front of my house. At one point a group of neighborhood kids rode by, helmetless and carefree and I told Jana “that is how I spent my childhood summers; no helmets, no paranoid parents charting my every move, wondering and worrying when I wasn’t home after dark. I mean; they knew where I was and who I was with, we lived in a small town, everyone knew everyone”. Jana concurred and, feeling slightly nostalgic (and, a little bit buzzed by the Shiraz), we allowed the kids to ditch their own helmets.

Right up until the moment the Man-Cub came sailing down the hill, one foot on the seat of his bicycle, the other leg stretched out behind him, hands on the handlebars and screaming “look at me, Mom! Look what I can do!”

After my heart started beating again; the helmets went back on (I was buzzed, not stupid).

After Jana and company left, I tucked the kids in and asked the Cub if he had remembered to put the tooth that he had lost that day under his pillow. Not only had he remembered; he had written a fairly lengthy letter to the Tooth Fairy to go with it. In the letter he asked for a picture of her as well as for her phone number so, either he is starting to have his doubts about her existence or he wants to ask her out on a date.

Not quite sure which scenario disturbs me the most, there.

Finally, last night Jana, the kids and I went to watch Hugh and Jana’s husband at their Thursday night softball game. They won the game by about twenty runs and were having a great time doing it. After the game, we once again retired to the porch for crusty bread, wine and cheese while the kids played the Wii and the husbands relived every moment of their athletic triumph. It was a nice way to end the day.

And a really great way to spend the majority of our week. So, I’m wondering; how could the weekend be any better?

Stay tuned.


  1. The ball story brought tears to my eyes. Good for Hugh for coming up with the right incentive.

    I loved the tooth fairy comment. made me laugh out loud!

  2. What a fantastic weekend!