Saturday, March 26, 2011

I have a good day every now and then

“This is a good day,” declared my son.

I had spent the entire morning at the doctor’s office, being shuffled from one freezing cold exam room to another, forced to repeat one test because apparently the machine no longer worked. I was poked, prodded and walked in on while changing. Somehow that was the worst (even though it was only the nurse). It’s probably fortunate that human modesty is the last to go.

Don’t worry; I’m fine, and it’s a good thing. I’ve always feared something would happen to me, and I’d have to go the hospital, and my sweet church friends would come over to help out and say those dreaded words: “Wow, she’s a slob, bless her heart!”

I’m not the only woman who feels this way, by the way. I talked to a friend who said their smoke alarm went off, and as the fire department arrived, all she could think was, “Boy, I hope they don’t see how dirty my house is.”

I digress, but, in short, it had not been a good day.

But to my 9-year-old son, it was a great day. Instead of being at work, his mama picked him up from school, parking the truck and getting out to surprise him. Now, to be fair, there is a very good reason he prefers my picking him up over his daddy. It’s called Dairy Queen, which is exactly where I suggested we go the minute he climbed into the cab.

I let him talk me into a medium chocolate shake because “you know how little the smalls are, Mom.” When I saw the size of the medium, I knew I had been conned, but he proved to be worth it.

When we got home, he pulled out his folder and revealed, to both our delight, a week’s worth of A’s. Since he didn’t have much homework, he turned on Netflix and discovered an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie that wasn’t rated R. I gotta tell you, the boy was practically in heaven at this point.

After that, we went to his baseball game. Having recently discovered his missing cup (don’t ask), he played catcher, and what a great job he did. And when he wasn’t catching, he was at bat and getting hits. At one point, I was so excited, I yelled, “Boy, oh, boy!” I have no idea where that came from. Too much “Leave it to Beaver” as a kid, perhaps.

But the piece de resistance was when my son took the pitcher’s mound for the very first time. He practiced turning sideways, kicking his leg up and bringing on the heat. After a bit of coaching from an awesome umpire, he was ready for his first pitch. Boom! It was low and right across the plate. The batter swung and, thanks to the magic of Little League, hit an infield ball that rolled past short stop, past the left fielder and to the fence.

I doubt I yelled out anything from “Leave it to Beaver” at that moment.

But, standing on the mound with a big wad of chewing gum in his cheek, my son seemed cool under pressure. He proceeded to strike out the next boy and then the next. The opposing team was bent on not swinging, hoping for a walk. They got one — only one. My son struck out the next boy at bat, and suddenly, it was our turn again. The score was 6-12, and my husband had hopes that they’d come back and win, but to me we already had. We lost, but it was the best Little League game I’ve ever seen.

Afterwards, the coach presented my son with the game ball. Nothing like receiving a reward for something you’ve earned. We wrote his stats on the ball, along with the date.

As I tucked in my sweaty son (it was too late for a needed bath), he grinned, gave me a hug, and said, “I knew this was going to be a good day.”

And, for that moment, I felt what it was like to be a 9-year-old boy who just played his best ballgame ever.

And then I realized, as the mother of one, the feeling I had was even better.

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