It was supposed to be a Spring like all the others. A SEASON that found us enjoying the transition of one period to the next, our children progressing from one grade level to the next, and this worn out mom from one anti-wrinkle cream to the next. (For one that promises all out war on the parentheses mark between my eyebrows and considerable and unfortunate dent in my checking account.)
Just normal joy in a household that has passed through this time of year before, maybe at a slower pace, but a familiar WALK nonetheless.
And then, out of LEFT FIELD, the family life we have always known - the one that provides untold joy in all of its hilarity and spontaneity, comfort in its somewhat predictable routines and schedules, and brief, precious TIME OUTS in the mommy bubble, the place where I can hear myself think and reflect about these days STEALING by way too fast without a child wrapped around my right leg and a request and/or complaint chattering in my left ear - is turned completely upside down in the same way I positioned my oldest son when choking on a potato chip seven years ago.
(For the record, I have now learned and even taught others that the American Red Cross does not support, condone or excuse any emergency maneuver that entails holding a toddler by his feet with the unrealistic hopes that said potato chip clogging the airways that belongs to your offspring, will defy gravity and FLY OUT of the mouth.
In fact, one should only resort to this type of impulsive, bug-eyed manner of rescue if a more reasonable adult is standing by to offer help, pushing you out of the way so that the child is not even more frightened by your antics bordering on hysteria than the sour cream and onion flavored chip STEALING all oxygen.
Not that this really happened. I’m just offering a hypothetical, a “what if “ situation that could potentially occur, all in the name of helping others, of course.)
We could have never predicted how this one SEASON would STRIKE to our family’s very core. The CURVE BALL out of nowhere that would consume us, drain us, and keep us up all hours of the night, with little energy remaining for proper nutrition and barely satisfactory hygiene.
It is from the devil.
I used to love baseball. I grew up not only watching the Atlanta Braves on television, but attending most games at Atlanta Fulton Stadium on a $2 ticket, carrying a sack full of sandwiches we would eat for supper in left field in one hand and my worn out glove in the other, expecting with childlike confidence to catch the homerun ball sure to be hit directly to my seat. Chief Knock A Homa (so clever) was the mascot then, dancing and hopping around the teepee built squarely in the middle of the cheap seats in which my family sat, entertaining all of the peewees that insisted on mimicking his every move.
At the end of each game, my family and I would wait patiently in an area of the stadium known as “the Tunnel”, the place all of the Braves players travelled through after showering in the locker room, signing graciously any object offered by a kid with stars in their eyes and jumbled words on their tongues. Dale Murphy, Phil Neikro, Claudell Washington and others signed any ball, bat or hat I brought to their attention, even once signing my school yearbook, as though they were good friends who sat next to me in geometry.
I have always loved baseball. And then my children started playing it.