Last weekend I hurt my eye, the particulars being unimportant. This injury required me to lay around the house, in the dark, doing nothing all weekend. Come to think of it, I did like I do most every other weekend.
The little dinosaur-crocodile hybrid boy showed great concern. Every hour or so he'd come in the room, at a safe distance, and ask "is your eye better daddy, has it quit hurting daddy?"
As night came, he crept into my bedroom and again asked, "is your eye better daddy?" I said, "a little bit" and he asked, "can I catch it daddy. If I get close will my eye hurt too?" I assured him it was not catching and he hopped in the bed snuggling up to me like it was 40 below zero. "I was afraid to get close cause I didn't want my eye to hurt too" said the little one. All this time, I thought the concern was for me, hmmm, oh well, at least he wanted to draw up next to me.
The Florence Nightingale little girl took careful steps to relieve my pain. Seeing the eye was very sensitive to light, she cut off all the lights and then colored strips of paper black, climbed on pillows on the bed, and taped the black paper to the ceiling to black out the white paint.
Ahh, the precious little girl. She never sees bad in anything and worries about everything and anything. She decided to play girls softball this year, after a storied career as a t-ball player. She is in the 7-10 year old league so she is the youngest kid on her team. She's all legs, arms and ponytail. Her batting stance has every bad habit that a batter could possibly have encompassed in one set up. Her bat is way too big, but she refuses to use last years t-ball bat because "it is not a softball bat daddy. You cannot play softball with a t-ball bat." So, the bat droops over her shoulder. Here knees are bent inwards. She keeps her feet almost touching each other as well. She slumps her shoulders. She swings with a big giant loop.
Watching her play is true agony. Some games are coach pitch and others machines pitch. Machine pitch is death for her. I have practiced and practiced with her and she can hit a pitched ball fairly well but load up the 30 mph machine and it's 3 strikes, turn around and head to the dug out. I can see the frustration on her face each time she strikes out. She's been in 3 machine pitch games and she's struck out every time.
Long ago, my parents and teachers claimed "it hurts me more than it hurts you" to give a spanking. Quite frankly, I still don't believe that rubbish. But, watching the little girl struggle to hit the ball, truly hurts me even more than it hurts her. I don't suppose it is very sensible for an adult male to spend time praying to God that his child will at least get a piece of the ball but I find myself at games doing just that.
Well, last week we went to Preston to play the dreaded Mudcats. Preston is as serious about recreational ball as Las Vegas is about gambling. Here she came to bat. The dreaded machine quickly strike 1. Soon thereafter strike 2. She looked despondent, almost in tears. Then here came strike 3. Except this time, somehow, that looping, all out of whack, swing connected and the ball rolled toward first base, took a gratuitous hop, and bounded into the outfield. The little princess had a hit. Soon thereafter she scored.
I caught a tear in my eye before it graced my cheek. She couldn't have been happier if she won Miss America. And God, I guess he wasn't too busy to answer prayers. Now, God, about the little boy.
Contact columnist T. Gamble at firstname.lastname@example.org.