Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Baseball and Borrowed Treasures

Tonight, I was prompted into action by a 6:30 phone call from my husband, who was at a golf benefit for our 11-year-old's summer baseball league. My husband is one of the coaches. Things were running late at the benefit; could I take him to the clubhouse and get him fitted for his uniform? Sure. I headed out the door with our 11-year-old. Our teen was on the front porch, practicing his scales with his upright bass teacher. It was a sultry night and cooler on the porch than in the house.

The events of the evening provoked me to reflect how our children are summoned into being and then given to us. Treasures, our children stay at our sides for just a breath of time.

When we arrived at the clubhouse, we saw a line of boys and their fathers inside. I'd never been there. Dozens of enormous trophies lined the walls, which were covered with banners from various championships. Boys were trying on uniforms by heading to the bathrooms and then coming out to have them checked. I saw M., a good friend of my husband's, and his son, who plays basketball and soccer with our little guy. They will be on the same summer travel team. My son grabbed some neatly folded shirts and pants from the table and decided he would simply try his uniform on over his clothes. "This gives me the gist of it," he told me, when I objected. He threw the items back on the table in a heap. I picked them up and folded them. He was entranced by the linoleum tiles, which had different colors so they spelled out the name of his league: EBBL.

It was nearly our turn. I could see dads writing checks and handing over cash. Money? I need money? I hadn't realized, hadn't thought about it.  I went outside and checked the minivan - $40 and change. That wouldn't be enough. M. pulled a $100 bill from his pocket. "Pay me back," he said with a grin. "Right away."

Now came our turn. His coach was taking the orders. I shook his hand. He didn't recognize our son in his summer crew cut. First, our son had to select his number. 2? Taken. 14? Gone. "How 'bout zero zero?" our son asked. Sure. Sixty six dollars later, he had his uniform order in. Then, his coach, told us there might be a meeting Friday night. He'd email.

On the drive home, my son chatted happily to me about his summer teammates, the travel schedule, beefsteak tomatoes and Saturday's trumpet lesson. I thought about how he has many weeks of summer memories waiting for him. With my left hand on the steering wheel, I reached into the back seat with my right to hold my son's sticky, hot hand, a gesture we have shared for years. "I love you so much," I told him. "Mom." he said sweetly. "I don't want you to get into a crash just because you wanted to hold my hand." For the first time, he pushed my hand away.


  1. Aw....so sweet. I would also probably get somewhere and realize I needed money. :)

    Love that he picked the number "00". Somehow, that strikes me as very lucky.

  2. Elaine: Thanks for stopping by and reading! Lucky in more ways than one, I think. ; )

  3. Oh Allison...please don't make me cry at 11:47 p.m. on a Tuesday!

    *sniff sniff*

  4. Such rich writing, I was transported and felt like I was there with you! And then that last line - my heart!

  5. I'm with Fran. I felt like I was in the car. Thank you for this; it warmed me today.

  6. OH...I know exactly how you felt when you saif for the first time he pushed your hand away....I'm sniffling now. Great post.

    hi from mamak's

  7. Ah, he pushed it away!
    I loved this part:
    "The events of the evening provoked me to reflect how our children are summoned into being and then given to us. Treasures, our children stay at our sides for just a breath of time." So true, so true!

  8. My son is 11 too and I see him growing up so much and so fast...I love your line"Treasures, our children stay at our sides for just a breath of time"... can I stop breathing to make them stay young? How I wish!

  9. Oh goodness. Now I'm a blubbery pile of goo, and am going to hop off the computer this instant and go get all my hand holding while my boys are still young enough to give them.
    Thank you for the reminder.

  10. @Cari: Good! I am so happy you stopped by; it meant that I checked out your blog. Great stuff!