Posted tagged ‘baseball’

Community

July 6, 2009

It’s eight o’clock on a Sunday morning.  It’s the first truly warm, sunny day after almost an entire month of gray, cold, rain.  I’m sitting on metal bleachers, eating a bagel and drinking too-sweet iced tea.  I imagine myself as a solar battery, absorbing the sun and feeling my energy restored. 

Somewhere in the dugout to my left, my 12 year old is waiting for his turn to play.  I cannot see him from where I am.  His teammates are on the field, looking worn out after a weekend of tournament play.  They aren’t chatty and look a bit rumpled this morning.  It’s a different story on the bleachers!  I am surrounded by smiles, friendly greetings, mutual appreciation for the turn in the weather.  There are moms and dads, siblings and grandparents surrounding me.  A dad in the front row yells to the left fielder to move in a couple of steps.  Another dad is assessing the position of the scoreboard and whether or not the fence should have been extended beyond the bleachers where we are sitting.  Moms sip coffee and spray their kids with sunscreen and bug spray.  As the game gets started, the kids on the field begin to perk up.  They banter.  They chatter.  They sing “G-O-O-D- E-Y-E: good eye, good eye, good eye” as a teammate waits for that perfect pitch.  The teams are well matched today and despite an out-of-the-park home-run by their star player, the kids have to work hard to earn their 5-3 victory.

I stand to walk to the concession booth for some water.  I can’t walk more than a few feet without stopping to chat.  Hi Chip, Hi Sara, Hi Dana…The conversation doesn’t matter.  I know these people only in the context of these moments; parents sitting together, cheering “our” team, waiting through yet another inning.  We talk of plans to find last-minute lodging in the middle of July near Sebago Lake for the State tournament.  We talk of double elimination and double plays.  We talk of ways to get the damp, locker room smell out of cleats.  We talk of the weeks of sacrifices–plans rearranged in order to have our children here on the first sunny day of summer.  We understand the meaning of this time in our kids’ lives; how All-Star baseball shapes this present into future nostalgia. 

I smile all the way to the concession stand.  It is one of those moments of recognition of the perfection of life.  My child, loving the game.  Me, loving my child–bringing us into this community, in this moment.  It is joy.

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