Monday, March 16, 2015

Season 2

I received an email on Friday afternoon that made my blood run cold. Its title was enough to made me vomit in panic.

“Play a little baseball?”

I read it with trembling hands. Each word another log on my panic attack fire.

“A few of us are getting together tomorrow at Washington's baseball diamond at 1:00pm to play a little baseball.  The more the merrier.  Please bring whatever bats and supplies you've got.  I have a bat, some bases and a dozen balls.

Younger kids are welcome.  I know there are some smaller siblings who are starting baseball this year.  Hope to see lots of familiar faces.”

It was a two paragraph reminder that I had not thrown a ball, base or otherwise, to Elijah since last season ended.  I promised both of us that we’d practice the fundamentals, dabble in a little strength training and hit the pavement a few times a week so we’d be ready when the season starts.

I wondered if anyone on The Cubs had the same panic attack when they got the heard Pitchers and Catchers were reporting in Florida the following week.

On Saturday morning, I asked Elijah if he wanted to participate in this unofficial baseball practice. I tried to dance that line of being enthusiastic about baseball, but ready to pounce on any hint of not wanting to go.

“Yay! Baseball!” That answered that.

We stuffed Eli’s feet into last year’s cleats, and dragged Luca to the park. I asked Luca if he wanted to play this year and he shouted, “No way!” That answered that.

Eli ran to the pack of boys who were in a massive pile, beating each other senseless. The coach bellowed an enthusiastic, “Hi Eli!” Sensing my extreme discomfort, the coach volunteered Eli to bat first so we could just go ahead and get my heart attack out of the way.

My son grabbed a bat and stood facing the coach/pitcher. I mean facing him face to face.  The coach gently reminded Eli that it was far easier to hit if he stood parallel to the plate.  If there were a way I could commit suicide and still be able to drive everyone home after practice I would have done it.

Like every time Eli stands in the batter’s box, I pretended to really need to get a tough knot undone from my lace less Vans.

I looked up just as Eli’s bat connected with the ball. The coach’s pitch was the most hittable meatball in the history of the world. But he still hit it. I wanted to kiss that coach right then and there.

Day One out of the way. I just have to make it through the next every Saturday until August.

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