Friday, June 13, 2008

Take Me Out to the Ballgame!

Last Tuesday evening, Max had his first baseball game of the season. Earlier that night, we went shopping at Dick's Sporting Goods for cleats, and we left the store with a pair of size 2.5 Nike's -- Max and Mitchell were absolutely entralled with the color swatch inserts that change the color of the Nike Swoosh to match your team's colors -- and the most adorable pair of size large youth baseball pants and two pairs of blue-and-white baseball socks, which are different than the stirrups and knee-highs I remember my dad wearing when he used to pitch in a softball league.
Sweet, sweet, SWEET!

Max hit hard both times at bat, and as he was about to take his first swing, Mitchell called out impulsively, "I LOVE YOU, MAX!" His sweet, loud voice melted my heart and the hearts of all the moms within hearing distance. Perhaps Max was equally inspired, because on his first hit of the season, he had enough time to advance the bases, one at a time, and get back home for a score. His fielding skills have really improved, and he has impeccable aim with his throws. Troy thoroughly enjoyed his debut as third base coach, especially when one of the neighbor boys confided in him, "This is the farthest I have ever gotten! I am so excited, I think I am going to throw up!" We were so happy to see him reach home base triumphantly!

Max waits attentively for some action in the infield. His favorite position is playing the outfield, perhaps because he has time to think, watch the game, and even daydream, and he doesn't have to wear any of that heavy catcher's gear out there. Last year when he played the infield, his favorite pasttime was "making smoke," as Mitchell calls it, by kicking the sand and watching the dust fly. Coach Darrin's number one rule is "Have Fun" and the number two rule is "Be Ready" in the field, with gloves and eyes waiting to field the ball. Max was the most "ready" I have ever seen him during his first game as a future third-grader.

Earlier in the day, I had exhausted almost every tool in my parenting toolbox with Little Mitchie. My last resort was taking away his ritual trip to the concession stand, located conveniently in the center of the four ballfields and stocked with lots of sugary treats, including Mitchell's favorites: ring pops and rope licorices that are long enough to jump rope. I didn't think I would actually have to take away that privilege, but I had to do that, as well as take away his post-game trip to Dairy Queen when he didn't eat more than two bites of dinner. By the second inning of the game, Mitchell was tired of playing catch with me, so to pass the time away, he was happy to make lots of silly faces while I snapped photo after photo, until the batteries in my camera were out of power. I have said this before, but we have The Cutest Boys Ever! (No offense if you have the Cutest Boys Ever, too!)

The game ended with boys from both teams hurrying to give high-fives as chilly raindrops fell from picture-perfect clouds. The rain passed quickly, and the resulting sunset was beautiful. The purples and peaches were pierced with angry screams as Mitchell kicked my seat _hard_ while we waited in the drive-through lane at Dairy Queen for Max's Butterfinger and Cookie Dough Blizzard. He really wanted to share it with Mitch but I have learned that sometimes being a mom means being the bad guy. I hope to post great pictures after next week's game of Mitchell happily eating every last drip of a sugary Star Kiss ... or 'Tar Kiss, as he calls it!

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