During my three day marathon of taking care of Ms. P's kids for her last week, i ended up taking her boys to their baseball games on Friday night.
Little Girl and i had to quickly breeze through our Friday night duties at the cat shelter, and then i dropped her off to arrive at Ms. P's house in the rain, with the thunder crashing and lightning striking.
Did that mean the games were cancelled? No, of course not, they were sure it was going to stop. In fact, it did.
As we were waiting until time to leave, Youngest Boy came downstairs and asked for a glass of orange juice for his father.
What! was my reaction.
"My dad's here, upstairs, and he's not feeling good," said the boy.
Turned out the ex who left Ms. P with a pile of IRS debt she knew nothing about and a house in foreclosure has been thrown out by his new honey.
"His mother is coming to pick him up," The Big Boss said with a sigh.
She did, and when she did, Ms. P walked into the kitchen saying to herself, "Just breathe, just breathe."
You are taking the high road, i told her. You let him come here to call his mother and lie down a while, and you won't have any regrets for letting him do that, because it's the way to behave in front of the children.
"I know," she said, and she took a deep breath and smiled and he was gone.
A few minutes later, i left with the three boys to head to the baseball fields.
Middle Boy's game was to start at 6pm, but he had a warm up, and we got there just a few minutes before it was to start. He headed to the batting cages, then we went to the field where his team would play. There are 7 fields, some smaller for the younger kids, and some bigger for the older ones. This was a smaller field, and the game was set to last 1 hour or 7 innings, whichever came first.
It was a coaches pitch game which lasted 35 minutes, and Middle Boy's team was up at first but lost in the last two innings. When a parent whose child was on another team walked up to ask a friend who was winning, he was told, "It's not about winning, it's about having fun!" All of us said the same, even when our team lost.
The other coach, however, had a different idea, and argued with the umpire a couple of times, and pulled him aside to "set him straight" at one point. This sparked a discussion among us on our side about the goals we had in mind bringing kids to these events.
To lighten it up, though, one witty father said, "You do realize I bet the house on this game, right?" with a big grin. His wife answered, "Oh, no! I don't want to be homeless again!"
We all laughed, and agreed if these kids, averaging age 7, learned sportsmanship, how to be on a team, and the rudiments of baseball, while having fun, it was enough.
Once that game was over, we had over an hour until Eldest Boy's game. They ate snacks and the younger two ran and played while Eldest Boy and some of his team mates found a corner in which to throw to each other for a warm up. Eventually we headed over to the field on which they would play, and were startled to see several geese!
It seems one couple just couldn't wait until they got up north, and had babies. The three young, along with mama, papa, and another adult, were on the field. Seven or so more joined them, honking. When the boys went out on the field, the ones who had flown in left, but the three adults and three babies stuck around at the back of the field, and went on out into an area near the playground, before finding their nests in the brush for the night.
Because Eldest Boy's games are longer (one hour and 45 minutes or seven innings), they started it 20 minutes earlier than scheduled because a field became available. It still went until almost 9:30pm.
Middle Boy and Youngest Boy did not watch, but instead played at the play area right next to this particular field. Several times i had to get up and go out there and get them to quit picking on girls, or sitting on each other, or whatever. After one such foray into the fray, i came back and sat on the bench with a sigh and said, i must do this for love because they can't pay me enough!
Yes, that got a laugh, and it's true. These kids are dear to me. And there isn't enough pay in the world to put up with what a parent has to deal with sometimes.
Another round of laughter ensued when it turned out that some of the parents, moms and dads, were not just watching this game, but also keeping up with the local college game on their phones. The scores were exactly the same through most of the game, and when someone asked what the score was, it was hard to tell which game they were talking about! The mix up of which game had which score kept all of us smiling, as did the fact that the college team changed pitchers at the same time ours did!
Eldest Boy's game ended in a tie. Yes, when the kids are only 12 and 13, you let it end in a tie late at night after they've been in school all day. It was exciting, though, with one young wag on Eldest Boy's team stealing several bases. He was the catcher through most of the game, and threw a couple of really good outs. He also pitched the last innings. Talk about multi-talented! He was also the smallest kid on the team, a tiny thing compared to the rest, but wiry and quick and i hope he sticks to baseball. He seems to love it and has a good eye and quick reactions.
So it was a night of wit, wisdom, and wildfowl, and plenty of fun.
Abolition Day -- Mayotte
Babe Ruth Day -- anniversary of the day dedicated to him in 1947 by every ball field in the US and Japan
Freedom Day -- South Africa
Furze-Hopping Event -- Fairy Calendar
Independence Day -- Sierra Leone(1961); Togo(1960)
Jouvert Jump-Up -- Sint Maartin (Break of Dawn Parade and Festival)
King's Birthday / Koninginnedag -- Kingdom of the Netherlands (Aruba, Curacao, Netherlands, and Sint Maartin); Bonaire, St. Eustatius, and Saba
Matanzas Mule Day -- remembering the only casualty of one of the first naval actions of the Spanish-American War, a mule in the village of Matanzas, Cuba
Medieval Fair -- Norman, OK, US (living history, and lots of fun; through Sunday)
Morse Code Day -- birth anniversary of Samuel Morse
National Prime Rib Day
National War Veterans Day -- Finland
Resistance Day/Day of the Uprising Against the Occupying Forces -- Slovenia
St. Zita of Lucca's Day (Patron of butlers, domestic servants, homemakers, housemaids, lost keys, maids, manservants, people ridiculed for their piety, rape victims, servants, servers, single laywomen, waiters/waitpersons/waitresses; against losing keys)
Tell a Story Day -- US (no history of origin, although celebrated in many libraries)
Togyu Taikai -- Tokunoshima Island, Japan (bull sumo, in which bulls push each other out of the ring)
The Ennead Sail Through the Land -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (date approximate)
World Graphic Design Day
World Tapir Day
Write An Old Friend Today Day -- a real letter, in the mail, remember how exciting it is to get those?
Ringo Starr marries Barbara Bach, 1981
Cornell University is established as New York's land grant institution, 1865
Patrick Stump, 1984
Sheena Easton, 1959
Ace Frehley, 1951
Cuba Gooding, Sr., 1944
Earl Anthony, 1938
Sandy Dennis, 1937
Anouk Aimee, 1932
Casey Kasem, 1932
Coretta Scott King, 1927
Jack Klugman, 1922
Walter Lantz, 1900
Sergei Prokofiev, 1891
Jessie Redmon Fauset, 1882
Ulysses S. Grant, 1822
Samuel Morse, 1791
Mary Wollstonecraft, 1759
Edward Gibbon, 1737
Suleiman the Magnificent, 1495
"Chips with Everything"(Play), 1962
"Le roi de Lahore/The king of Lahore"(Opera), 1877
"Roméo et Juliette"(Opera), 1867
"L'africaine/The African Woman"(Meyerbeer Opera), 1865
Today in History:
Ferdinand Magellan is killed by natives in the Philippines led by chief Lapu-Lapu, 1521
Re-founding of the city of Bogotá, New Granada (now Colombia), by Nikolaus Federmann and Sebastián de Belalcázar, 1539
Cebu is established as the first Spanish settlement in the Philippines, 1565
The blind and impoverished John Milton sells the copyright of Paradise Lost for £10, 1667
The British Parliament passes the Tea Act, 1773
Beethoven composes Für Elise, 1810
US troops capture the capital of Upper Canada, York (present day Toronto, Canada), 1813
The Foundation stone for new Palace of Westminster, London, is laid, 1840
The establishment of Jewish congregations in Lower Austria is prohibited, 1857
The steamboat Sultana, carrying 2,400 passengers, explodes and sinks in the Mississippi River, killing 1,700, most of whom are Union survivors of the Andersonville and Cahaba Prisons, 1865
In South Africa, the Group Areas Act is passed formally segregating races, 1950
Togo gains independence from French-administered UN trusteeship, 1960
Sierra Leone is granted its independence from the United Kingdom, 1961
Expo 67 officially opens in Montreal, Canada, 1967
Xerox PARC introduces the computer mouse, 1981
The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, comprising Serbia and Montenegro, is proclaimed, 1992
Betty Boothroyd becomes the first woman to be elected Speaker of the British House of Commons in its 700-year history, 1992
Russia and 12 other former Soviet republics become members of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, 1992
The first democratic general election in South Africa, in which black citizens could vote is held, 1994
The last successful telemetry from the NASA space probe Pioneer 10 is received, 2002
The superjumbo jet aircraft Airbus A380 makes its first flight from Toulouse, France, 2005
Construction begins on the Freedom Tower for the new World Trade Center in New York City, 2006
Estonian authorities remove the Bronze Soldier, a Soviet Red Army war memorial in Tallinn, amid political controversy with Russia, 2007
The wives and children of former Osama bin Laden are deported from Pakistan to Saudi Arabia, 2012