A pleasant weekend. A day on my own to work and see a movie (Birdman – wow – blown away) and a day with my cherub to celebrate birthdays with Auntie J and her brood, then to batting cages and Waffle House, then home in the serious snow. This was the second weekend in a row we drove 30+ miles in the snow one way to batting cages, but baseball is coming, and, despite the fact that we have a batting cage in our backyard, it isn’t functional when it is knee deep in snow. Yesterday he hit well at his usual pitch speed (and was complimented on his form by a few dads, which put him through the roof with pride), and then he tried the next higher pitching speed and hit nothing for at least 25 pitches. I had been sitting back, but at that point I stepped up and suggested he wait just a little longer for it to come to him. Then, boom – he was hitting again. He jumped up and down in the cage like a little kid, which was contagious to a dad and son with whom he had been taking turns, and they started cheering. The dad turned around and looked at me with a “Wow – you knew what he was doing wrong” look of appreciation, which sent me through the roof with pride, despite the feminist on my shoulder saying, “Well, why wouldn’t I? Because I’m a woman?”…
As B was packing up his things, one of the dads came over and said, “I really like your boy’s enthusiasm – he’s really got a heart for baseball.” You know, I have to grin when B does something like jumping up and down when everybody else is frowning and serious. In some ways he’s a little immature, and in some ways he’s pure and unconcerned about what people think. Sometimes I don’t know with which I’m dealing.
Then sometimes he’s just plain wise. On the way home, our 30 miles turning into more than an hour’s worth of driving slowly in yucky weather, he said, “One thing I love about you is that you’re willing to take risks.” I laughed and said, “The trick is knowing how to take measured risks without just being stupid.” I explained my rationale for going out in the snow yesterday. He said, “It’ll be good for you in old age.” Funny thing to say. “Why do you say that?” I asked. “Because you won’t end up like Peepeye.” His grandmother, my mother, lives a very self-restricted life. He was saying he didn’t want that for me, and he had reason to believe it wouldn’t happen. God bless him.
And so, we got home safely, he gamed, I finished up some work, and we spelled German words. These were the hardest yet. Particularly tough: “sauerbraten”, “eiderdown”, and “verboten”, but the truth is, even having reviewed the rules for German spelling, these are just words you know because you’ve seen them, and he hasn’t seen them yet in his 12 (almost 13) short years! He was a little discouraged, but kept at it, sitting in the dog’s chair, the dog displaced to the ottoman but stretched into the boy’s lap with his head on the boy’s chest. So, we studied, and recorded hard ones on new stickies to get posted around the house for review. Then he stretched and shooed the dog so he could go to bed. He asked for what I was thankful. I thought a moment and said, “Auntie J and Z and M”. He said, “Yeah. Me, too. I still feel sorry for Auntie J, though.” I said, “You know, Honey, I don’t think she’d want you to. I think she loves the craziness that comes with having two little ones. Some people have 3 or 4 or 6 at a time.” He said, “Yeah, but that’s not what I’d want.” I said, “Okay, I see that you’re not saying she doesn’t do it well; what you’re saying is that you recognize that it’s hard, and that you might not be good at it.” He said, “Oh! Yeah! Totally!”
In some ways this boy’s heart leads him around. I’m not looking forward to dating.