Sunday, March 08, 2009

Before He Turns 9... son will be able to ride a bike without training wheels. That's what he did yesterday. Sure, seems like he should have known by now. I'm pretty sure I was riding solo by then. But we don't live in the world I grew up in. I learned on the street in front of my own house. Mr. T, amazingly more protective of our boy than I am, said he wasn't ready for that since he couldn't control himself. And since I don't let him out alone, nor do I let him out in the cold, the opportunities were few and far between. Saturday was a perfect day. Mr. T took the kids out to ride their bikes and he finally got him to balance.

"Are you proud of me," he asked me.


The wheels are off. son will be able to throw and catch a baseball. That was something else he did on Saturday. Son said he wanted to play Little League. How can I say no to a physical activity? So I signed him up but I told Mr. T that I was already Son's Cub Scouts partner. He was going to have to play ball and do the Little League thing with him. He played baseball in high school, after all, so who else?

The Little League association sent emails about clinics they were planning in February. Since Son has never played outside of the great stadium of the Wii, I was glad he'd get a chance to see what he was in for and get some practice. But the clinics never happened. The season starts at the end of April. So Mr. T took the kids out to play in the back yard and, more importantly, to throw the ball. I was in the house Twittering away. Soon I heard bawling and sat up to fine-tune my ears. The side door in the kitchen was open so I could hear clearly and it sure sounded like my kid.

Uh oh.

He came up the stairs with his usual open-mouthed cry, his cheeks shiny from the tears.

"What happened?"

"The ballllll hi-it me!"

Sigh. Lord, how do I do this?

"You can't do this," I told him, wiping his face.

He looked at me.

"I know it hurt and I'm not saying it can't hurt and you can't cry about it. But you wanted to play baseball, remember? Remember I told you that ball will probably hit you sometimes. It's no fun, but it's possible. Look, I know it hurt but this is what you want to do?"

He shook his head yes.

"Then this is one of those things that you're going to have to learn how to handle. You have to learn how to get the ball so you don't get hit too much. How to get out of the way, maybe. You're not being a baby by crying when you do get hit, but you've got to make yourself harder for this. I know it's not easy. You tell me if you don't want to play baseball now."

"I want to play."

"OK. Then let's clean up your face. You look good. No bruising. You're good. Let's get tough for this. You get hurt, you cry. OK. But let's not do that yell-it-out thing you do, OK? If you want this, go for it."

He wiped his face and went back out. I watched them from the window. Mr. T was not throwing hard so I figured the ball wouldn't be leaving a mark. I watched him throw it to Son. I watched Son try to catch it. I watched Son throw it back and - though I'm no expert - I think I detect a bit of an arm on him. He may actually have a bit of talent to work with here. Whew! But he is his father's son. And many cousins have done the basketball thing too. One is on the verge of pro. I suppose it's not all that strange that Son may have a little athlete in him.

When he came back in..."Guess what, mommy. I can throw and catch the ball now."

I'm nodded. "I'm not surprised." son will know the facts of life. He knows the overview but no details as of yet. But he asked me today. "How do babies get in stomachs?" and I was not interested in laying it all out right then. I'm not afraid to. I'm not a coddler in the least and I use real words for real things. I was just feeling lazy on a beautiful Sunday and I wasn't up for The Talk.

Sigh. "I can't do this today, Son."

"Can I ask Daddy?"

"Go ahead." He hustles on out. "But I bet you he won't be up for it either," I call after him.

He was back in a minute.


"He wouldn't say."

"I'll tell you, Son. Just not today, ok? It's not a quick conversation."



And you can bet he'll hold me to it, one of these days this week, before he turns 9.

1 comment:

Theresa said...

Oh my Monica, you have your hands full with this one! Good luck with the talk. Been there...many times.