It was bound to happen! For nearly ten years I have returned every spring to the same spot, where the same corner of earth welcomes me to watch the well beaten paths created by little boys in cleets. I have lost a windshield to a homerun there. I’ve been hit in the stomach by a foul ball that left a deep purple bruise that hung out with me for weeks. I’ve witnessed home runs and victories and the moment when the game was lost by 1 point, which for the record is the worst kind of defeat! However, in all my years of being a baseball mom, I have never left the Little League field en route to the emergency room, until last night!
That’s not to say I’m not a member of the ER Frequent Flyer Club, because indeed, I’ve had my share of visits. My dad used to joke that he was going to reserve me my own department in the ER. (Those jokes backfired, just a little….) And although my kids aren’t quite the train wreck I was, they’ve made the trip a few times. I once got a call that Blondie had fallen off the steps by the gym and had likely fractured a bone. Which bone? Oh yeah, it was her tailbone. (The zoo crew still jokes that Blondie broke her booty!) She ate it up that she got to spend the rest of the school year sitting on her baby-brother’s Boppy pillow (it was the closest thing I could find around the house that compared to a doughnut). Another time the athletic trainer called to say my son was immobile on the football field. I got to drive my Yukon right onto the field, which made me the hero to the seventh grade boys athletics class and ticked the maintenance man off so bad he still looks at me funny.
But the baseball field has always been the place where all is well in the world. The boys chase balls and pick flowers. They eat popsicles and dig in the dirt. I take pictures and yell “run home, run!” and dish out quarters for pickle-licks. Last night 4 of the boys had games, so I went armed with my camera, determined to get a few pics of everyone playing.
The twins did their best impression of the Bad News Bears. Meanwhile Trenton took a nap in the bleachers. T’ball ended just in time for me to catch the last two innings of Tucker’s game. It was quite exciting in the world of coach pitch when a Grand Slam Home Run changed the score from 5-3 to 5-7, moving the Braves into first place!
On to the big boy field we trudged. Pickles was playing against the mean boys from Taylor. I’m wondering, where do you find 13-year-old baseball players who are covered in tattoos and already shoot the finger at the umpires? Sadly, I didn’t get to witness the dramatic unfolding of events that led to the final game of the night being forfeited in our favor, but from what I hear it was quite exciting.
All I know for certain is that my son was on first base when a little voice underneath me said “Mommy, it was an accident”. I looked down, and saw my new hero holding his head, with a hand covered in blood. Uh-oh. Daddy tried the hole “shake it off buddy”, but then he too saw the red hand, and took him to the side to pour some water over the wound to better assess the situation.
He looked over at me, with a furrowed brow and said “he might need staples”. “Surely not, let me check” (of course, mommy knows best, right?) and I hopped off the bleachers, headed over to see a good gash in the head a flying rock had created! Lucky me, I get to use my ER Frequent Flyer Club Card…
Here’s the most amazing part of the night. This kid is 4 years old. He may have cried for a minute when the rock first crash landed on his skull, but by the time we headed to the car he was calm, cool, and collected! When we got to the ER, he decided it was our lucky night, since there were volunteers circling the floor passing out root beer floats. We sang about Little Bunny Foo Foo (which reminds me, I need to tell you about the time I sang my ABC’s in the ER, but I’ll let Jayden be today’s hero). He was a little worried about staining his baseball uniform, since there is a game next week! He just sat calmly and quietly and got two staples to the head without a single tear. After it was over, I asked him if he had been a little scared, and he said “ummm not that much” so I pretended I didn’t notice his knees knocking together.
Since Daddy and Dyl Pickles are petrified of needles, I have officially declared Jayden as the bravest boy in the house! (Ironically his twin cries if you sneeze wrong in front of him, while this kid’s a Timex- he takes a licking and keep on ticking!) When we left, I asked him if he wanted a treat, and his choice was a bag of Doritos, so we stopped at the gas station. He proudly marched his little bag up to the counter, and the man who took my dollar looked down, smiled, and said “cool kid”… Yep, he’s one heck of a little guy, now that he’s all stapled back together!