He called us Friday night to let us know that he was pitching on Saturday.

Caught between a turnip and blood, depending on a certain bank transaction, there was only dust, and we talked, agonized, turned down the $20 Otto’s dinner and told him we couldn’t make it.

Next morning, in the dawn of a new day, the bank transaction went incredibly fast, and there was new found hope. We could make it down to see him pitch.

I texted his girlfriend to see if she needed a ride. “I’m already here.”

Picked up the phone and called him, “We’re coming down to watch you play.” A joyous jubilation rippled down the line. His girlfriend would later say that he was truly excited about us coming to watch.

It was a beautiful sunny day, and besides the hubby being an ass about being on time, punctual, organized, and all that, the trip went well.

The boy pitched the first game and it was beautiful to watch. He’d been working out to strengthen his back and it showed. The game was tight and the opponents rallied at the bottom of the sixth defensively, and top of seven offensively, but the boy came out and shut them down. He’d have nothing of that. I could speak to the particular blue of the sky, the wisp of the wind, the clink of the bats, but I don’t know. You’d have to be there to appreciate it. It was a beautiful day. The boy had a stellar outing and the boys won.

Nine straight at that mark.IMG_2718
Between games, the boys were to go get lunch. I brought over a bag of sandwiches, strawberries, and muffins. The sandwiches fed about 4. The strawberries, about 8. And there were enough muffins to feed the team. “Mrs. Hicks” did her thing.

They won the second game, after a rough start, and before we knew it, we were taking the boy and his girl to dinner. There’s always light banter, harassment, but it never feels like you have enough time to say what you want to say–to explicitly say how much you love your son and how proud you are of him–never seems enough time.

We hit the road back home by around 5:30 and made it home in time for the NASCAR race. It was one of the most perfect days ever.

I was reading a post by my friend Robin this morning about her 18-year-old son in basic training who had some free time to call and was accepted into the Ranger program. It could just as easily have been my son. How proud they were of his achievements. How terrified they were as well. That could have been my son. That could be any son. I don’t know how I would ever handle such a situation.

And when Twitter broke about Boston this afternoon, and Matt Brezina was tweeting from a stairwell just before he walked outside to almost meet a bomb. What a small, terrifying world we live in. He easily could have been my son–anyone’s son–as well.

I called my son tonight and talked fishing and baseball and life, and I was so glad to hear his voice. I was so glad things worked out so we could go down last Saturday because, ultimately, you don’t really know when their last game will ever be.

Each day you pray for one more.

Each day, we should be most thankful for this random thing called life.


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