Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Middle Son surprises

Long Suffering Spouse and I went to Middle Son's baseball games Sunday. (Don't worry Bee, this isn't about sports, not really.)

̊̊̊Middle Son was scheduled to pitch one of the two games to be played, but he didn't know which one. Long Suffering Spouse brought snack foods and sandwiches and other treats that she wished to bestow on Middle Son at some point. And it was such a beautiful day -- almost 40 degrees (Fahrenheit), foggy, misty... damp -- so what better way to spend the day than by enjoying America's pastime? We got there in time for the start of the first game.

Middle Son pitched the second game.

By the time that game started, we'd raided the trunk of the van and brought out three blankets. And hats. And gloves. And scarves. Ah, Spring.

Middle Son pitched a fine game -- a complete game shutout, even if the game was shortened to seven innings because of darkness. But his game performance isn't the surprise alluded to in the title of this essay.

There were a good many people in attendance throughout the afternoon. Parents of players, of course. And girls. Lots of college girls.

"Bees," I told Long Suffering Spouse, as she and I discussed these demographics. (It wasn't a big crowd. And the stands are small at this small school. We sat in our own lawn chairs, apart enough from everyone else to permit the luxury of private conversation.)

"Bees?" said Long Suffering Spouse.

"Yup," said I, gesturing at the boys on the field. "Wherever there's flowers, you'll find bees."

During the long afternoon, some college age boys made their way out to the grandstand to say hello to the girls. "Sometimes the bees are flowers, too," I told Long Suffering Spouse.

Hypothermia makes you say the darndest things.

From what I could tell, many of these young ladies had specific young men in whom they were particularly interested. They all seemed acquainted with Middle Son though. In addition to heckling the opposing players and rooting for their chosen favorites, they all found time to shout occasional encouragement to Middle Son.

Our lawn chairs were not randomly positioned. There to watch a pitcher, we set up between the plate and first base where we could see the mound well and, if no one were congregated around the above-ground dugout, the batter. The little grandstand blocked our view of much of the outfield -- but life is filled with compromises.

Our position is chosen so we can make sure that the umpire is calling balls and strikes properly -- although we've learned not to be too vocal in expressing our dissatisfaction when the umpire gets it wrong. It never seems to help. (I do, however, sigh theatrically from time to time.)

On Sunday, though, we had trouble seeing the plate. There were parents seated along the fence, and people kept standing periodically, probably checking for frostbite.

But the real problem was the tight knot of people at the corner of the dugout. There were never more than three or four... but they were ideally positioned to block our view. One was obviously someone's father -- but the rest were girls.

As parents, our job is to wait until the end of the game for some brief acknowledgment from our scholar-athlete. If he does well, we may bask momentarily in his achievement; if he does badly, we are expected to offer quick consolation. But, in either event, it is a matter of seconds, because the scholar-athlete has other duties... cleaning the field... running (somehow running after pitching is supposed to help blood flow in the arm, reducing arm strain -- and, no, I have no clue why this may be so).

So, on Sunday, as the second game finally ended, we waited expectantly for Middle Son to emerge from the gloom and briefly say hello. But the first person he greeted was a pretty blonde. He quickly disentangled from her hug when he noticed Long Suffering Spouse and me watching. But I recognized her -- she'd been one of the group at the corner of the dugout.

We didn't get hugs, although I believe Middle Son may have patted his mother on the shoulder. Long Suffering Spouse remembered she had sundries to deliver. "Mom," he said, "I'm going to be here awhile --"

"Well," I said, "is there anyone here you trust to actually deliver your food to your room?"

The blonde was summoned. Awkward introductions followed and Middle Son gave her his room key. We walked her back to our van and gave her the supplies.

Ah, Spring.


Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

do i smell wings sprouting curmy? sigh... it happens in the blink of an eye, doesn't it?

smiles, bee

Patti said...

Ah, spring, when a young man's fancy...does something

I can't quite remember

Jean-Luc Picard said...

Definately spring is coming, and young ladies....

TroyBoy said...

It looks like you'll need another chair at the next family holiday dinner! :-)

Kacey said...

Flowers and bees and cute honeys? It's time to have the "birds and bees" talk with that boy! (Especially since he gave her the key to his room)

sari said...

Nine pitched his first game last night!

Ok, he pitched one inning, but it was pretty exciting for us.

The girls, I can wait for that part.