Last Bat

[Note to reader: When I originally started this post, we were in the month of July....and then some life stuff happened and now it is October and I opened this up and thought, Oh.My.Gosh. It is no longer almost August, it is ALMOST NOVEMBER! And that pretty much sums up the entire year....I left the post as it was though and will try to get to the next post within the decade. Thanks for your patience.]

So here's the thing: I have no idea how it is already July, much less about to be AUGUST! WHAAAT? 

JULY! As in J-U-L-Y! The 7th month of the year, going on the 8th month and soon, back to school, whatever that might mean! I'm personally stuck somewhere between: "Where the heck did months 3 through 6 go??" and "Argh! We still have FIVE months in this year of insanity!"

We started 2020 with all this awesomeness and then March hit and HOLY GUACAMOLE! At first, I spent hours on end laughing at all the funny Covid memes, excited about the little "Spring break" we were having. But after a whirlwind trip to FL, a dumb concussion, and having to become my kids homeschool teacher long enough to realize I don't care enough about elementary school grades to actually worry about whether my boys were actually completing their work or not, (and then realizing that trying to explain that to their teachers was not my best idea ever)....well, like everyone else, we spent a lot of time in the trenches of this thing, trying to figure out how to spend so much time together in our house without kicking anyone off the island while also testing the social distancing waters and make our way back into our former life, now through a completely different lens. 


And still, FIVE months left in this year! 

I have been asked to keep writing. Well, I think someone may have mentioned it like six months ago but since I can't really recall what we did yesterday, I could be making that story up in my head. I am going to have to get back in the habit of making mental notes and getting to my computer every night. I wish I had been better about it from the beginning of this thing but instead, I had to learn how to Zoom....and how to coach soccer teams via the internet and how to make masks (note: I have a love hate relationship with my sewing machine and after a dozen tries, several cursed at bobbins, a broken needle or two, and that extra half hour it took me to remember how to put the presser foot back on correctly, I broke down and bought them like the other non-crafty people I know. Kind of kicking myself for not starting THERE but, I have in fact used my sewing machine for so many other fixes recently that I guess it is all worth it. Thanks, Covid!)

At any rate, I wanted to share a semi-uplifting story about one of my favorite characters: Liam. If you have been a reader long enough, (or are related) you know that Liam is a special kid. Yeah, yeah, we all think our kid is special, but as an extroverted kid on the Autistic Spectrum, who can't help but smile at just about everything and whose love for sports surpasses that of most athletes I know, well, he really is special.

And he LOVES baseball. I will be honest. I don't know how. I have such little patience for it myself but seeing how baseball lights up his face even more than it is naturally, well, his radiant joy becomes contagious. 

The only problem is, he is now 12 and there is no longer "rec" baseball for him to play. The only real option he has is to try out for a travel team and if we are honest with his ability at this point, his chance is slim to none. 

I was pondering this last night at the final game: a pick-up "sandlot" style game for the kids who don't play football. They chose captains and the captains chose the teams. I will admit, my stomach turned a little, knowing Liam would be one of the last ones selected. He was next to last but his huge smile and the cheers of his teammates eased this mama's heart. The camaraderie and supportiveness he has experienced in this league have been incredible. I took a deep breath and the game began. 

One of Liam's big struggles is hitting. He was okay when it was coach pitch and they could adjust the speed of the balls thrown for him. But with the kids getting so big and throwing so fast, Liam hadn't hit a ball all season, not even a tip. Last night though, the coaches pitched and as Liam made his way to the plate for the first time, I prayed my mama prayer: Please, just connect, just this once, in what might be his final game of baseball as a kid, please let him hit the ball.

The coach lobbed the ball his way; Liam let it go by. Again, the coach pitched and Liam swung and missed. And then, something awesome happened: as the next pitch came in, Liam got a sly little look on his face and bunted the ball. The coach took his time fielding the ball, threw to first and Liam found himself safe at the base! 

The boys went WILD! Liam was grinning ear to ear! 

Three times at bat, three bunted balls. And in that last bat, Liam bunted and started running; the coach slowly fielded the ball, purposefully overthrew first and round and round the bases Liam ran as the other boys scurried to catch up to the play. When Liam stopped at third base, everyone cheered and Liam could hardly stop laughing. 

While my heart grew three sizes that day, I still don't prefer baseball, but I am so glad Liam does. And I can't wait to see what he conjures up next!