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Keeping Score

Around our house, Little League starts a couple weeks before the first practice and, with it, the same exact conversation:

Thing2: “Do I have to play?

Interchangeable parent: “yes”

Thing2: “I hate baseball. (Insert ad nausea exclamations as to why we should not sign up for baseball)”.

And just as I’m looking for the return receipts for the new gear after assuring Thing2 for the umpteenth time that “you love baseball,” something great happens.

Sunday’s something great happened when I drove Thing1 to the rec park for around the free golf course. Ten-year-old Thing2 insisted on going to join me for a walk around the trail, and I said yes, knowing I’d be abandoned for the playground before the end of the first lap on the trail.

We didn’t even finish the first half before Thing2 noticed a classmate and his dad engaged in an impromptu batting practice at the baseball diamond. The friend’s dad, who happens to be this year’s coach, invited him to stay and hit a few, and gave me a few minutes of quiet walking time.

Twenty minutes later, coach and classmate were ready to head home for Sunday dinner. Thing2 helped stow the equipment as he proclaimed his anticipation of the next night’s official practice.

I corralled him back to the trail so we could drag Thing1 from the golf course.

“I hit 30 pitches,” Thing2 told me as he skipped to the last putting green. “That would be a ton of runs!”

 T2 was still calculating his imaginary score when Thing1 came into view.  We arrived to see him sink his last putt and pound the air with his fist in the universal signal of victory.  

The boys had scored big, but I was about to get an unexpected win.

We got to the car, Thing2 waved to his friend across the parking lot. Then he turned to me and said, “Man, I can’t wait for baseball practice tomorrow!”