He has a gift.
He can hit.
Hand eye coordination doesn’t begin to explain it, either. He aligns the speed of the ball, and the contact with the bat, with every muscle in his arms, legs, and eyes in harmonic syncopation. This has been going on for years, and with his first coach pitch game only two weeks away, I am getting ready.
Ready for the joy he radiates when he hits.
Ready for the heads looking up and over as the ball soars beyond the scope of expectation.
Ready for the other parents (most often the dads) with eyebrows arched and arms folded, to nod their approval, and consider their approach. Do they inch on over, and take part in my pleasure, or hold back, and observe. They want what I got: that kid.
I didn’ t make him that way, so does my bragging have a wider berth? Having a kid this physically able that is not my biological offspring removes all sorts of weight from my shoulders. He is not living out some unrequited fantasy of mine (I actually had an amazing athletic childhood as a soccer player in case anyone is curious) or following in my heroic footsteps as “Mama C’s boy, so he must be good…” (I was for the record afraid of softballs landing on my head.) He is in his own body, exploring his own gifts that we can imagine and remind are inherited from his biological father who we were told loves to play sports.
So in some way every time he cracks that connect of faux leather and aluminum he is connecting to something and someone who is not on the playing field with him, who is not on the bleachers cheering him on. He is announcing his future, and recognizing his relatively unknown (in the case of his birth father with whom we are not connected at this point) past. I can hold most of this for him for now, so he can have permission to soar out there as he will. So, like the other boys and girls wearing their startchy new caps and smart new uniforms, his anticipation can be palpable at the Opening Ceremonies in a few days.
I’ll be beaming too. I’ll be loud enough to make up for their only being one parent there, instead of two. (Convenient excuse for all that noise isn’t it?) I’ll bring my love for his entire first family with me, as I celebrate Sam’s innate skills, and magic out there. I’m hoping some of them will be joining our little family at more than one box seat event in his not so distant future. Oh, and, I’ll wear protective gear next time I pitch to him on the beach-so when I take another line drive in the chest, it doesn’t knock me to the ground!