When I wrote about Five's first baseball practice, Julie commented that her husband, Daniel, was so excited to read it. Daniel loves baseball, and misses watching the young folks play, now that their kidlets are grown. So, whenever I write about Five's team, I know that at least one reader is pleased! Here you go, Dan:
Tonight, Five played in one of his last baseball games of the season. It's been a horrible, rainy spring, and many of his games were cancelled. Other times, I chose to send him to Thursday Tae Kwon Do instead of practice. Once or twice, another brother had a commitment, and I kept Five home, because I still haven't figured out how to be in two places at once. Suffice to say, it's been a challenge to teach the little guy the intricacies of America's pastime.
Three and Four went with me to watch the game. Four and I have a routine now, where we flip the rear seats of the van, and use them as a desk to do his homework. Tonight, we also packed dinner, because I spent the afternoon laying on the couch, ill, and didn't quite get the food to the table. I gave Three money, because he loves the snack stand hamburgers and slushies. Four finished his homework just in time for us to make it to the stands to watch Five step to the plate.
The first time I watched one of his games, Five wanted to quit because he "embarrassed the team" by failing to make it to base all three times at bat. The next time, he fouled or struck out each time. So, I was a little apprehensive as he took his stance in the batter's box. And then his coach corrected it. And told him not to choke up so much. Okay, he was finally ready. On the fifth pitch, he made contact, and ran to first base!
I'm being kind when I say he "ran." Five has no "kick." Or even a "stride." He runs a bit like an Irish dancer-it's all from the knees down. The coach has taken to racing alongside him in the baseline, to make him pick up the pace. Then he stays there to remind Five to sprint to second when the next batter hits the ball. I almost fell out of the bleachers laughing, when the kid running from first base passed Five, running from second, to home plate.
Five hit five times in five at-bats, which I am pretty sure means he will be highly recruited. And I haven't even talked about his fielding! He dove for two balls in the outfield, but caught neither, because he's still nervous the ball is going to hit him in the face. However, he did have an outstanding play at shortstop, where he threw himself in the dirt to stop the ball. He stood up, filthy and proud. After he threw the ball to the pitcher (almost all the way!) he shook the dirt out of his glove, and got back in the ready position, steely-eyed and freckle-faced.
When we got in the van, I told Five he would definitely need a shower, because he was covered in baseball dirt. He said, "Oh, yeah, Mom, I do! I was like Derek Jeter out there!" And then he did the play by play for his brothers, just in case they had missed any of his highlights. Despite all the hiccups in the season, he had learned, improved, and was happy.
There's another Captain in the house.