While eating dinner, the Grands talked about
baseball, basketball, and all sports with clout.
After much deliberation, Bubba declared
Baseball’s THE game. He’s ready and prepared.
At first, Gamma thought Ninja skills would be best
Propelled by obsessing over swords and dark vests.
But, to her surprise, baseball was his pick
Throwing, catching, and hitting balls with a stick.
The idea came from a neighborhood friend,
a boy who was older and wiser than him.
He signed up for scrimmages and forty-minute games.
All he needed was a glove and an arm with good aim.
Once registration and schedules were complete
Bubba got worried and developed cold feet.
It consumed conversations before the big day.
If Gam was too pushy, he might run away.
Gamma remembers when ‘his mom’ was small
She enrolled in a dance class in early fall.
Though only three, Gam thought she was ready.
Later, she discovered there were butterflies in her belly.
From what Gam recalls, the class was competitive.
Mom needed more coddling, more positive than negative.
Their temperaments are similar. The truth slowly unravels.
Despite all their trash talk and constant babble.
A few days went by without a discussion.
Allowed to sink in to avoid combustion.
On the big day, Bubba asked not to go.
Gam said, “Give it a try before saying no.”
Baseball’s on Tuesdays, same as Sis’ ballet.
There’s little downtime, no nonsense, no delay.
They’ll meet at the ballpark before baseball starts.
Sis can encourage and calm Bubba’s heart.
After parking the car, Gam and Sis see
Bubba is in the backseat as still as a tree.
On the way to the ballfield, he fell asleep
Eyes closed in the car seat, counting sheep.
Sis wakes Bubba up, but he doesn’t get out.
Gamma gently asks, “What’s this all about?”
He confesses his worries and the things that he dreads.
He’s concerned that the baseball might hit him in the head.
Be prepared is Gam’s motto. She usually is.
She packed Sis’ shoes, the white and pink Keds.
Maybe Sis can play. She’s only five
Let’s ask the coaches and give it a try.
Sis can play. Hooray! It’s not too late.
Add her name to the roster. Wow, this is great!
Bubba stays apprehensive and hides behind Mom.
Sis hits the field. She starts tossing the ball.
Gamma said, “Bubba, let’s go play catch.”
Bubba comes out of hiding, ready to dispatch.
With Sis on one end and Bubba on the other.
It’s not so bad when you’ve got each other.
A whistle blows from the coach at the Rec
He motions the kids in for a talk and a stretch.
He says it’s crucial to warm up the muscles.
Gamma agrees. No worries, no fusses.
Up go the arms, legs bend, touch your toes
Gam and the Grands reach high and low.
The coach said to sit cross-legged, Indian-style
All follow instructions, each flashing a smile.
Gamma sits on the grass in athletic-cut shorts
She extends and lengthens as her body contorts.
The grass was itchy and prickly on her thighs
She scratches and slaps at the gnats flying by.
After the pep talk and pregame warm-ups
Run the bases. Don’t trip. Watch out for bumps.
Gam sits this one out. The Grands think it’s fun.
Run like the wind. Baseball has begun.
Kicking dirt with your shoes, smokey hue in the air
Go to first, second, and third if you dare.
The last stop is home plate. It’s the most important.
Scoring a run is the purpose or something.
Jog out to the field. Remember your glove.
Look up to the sky. A ball falls from above.
Hold your glove steady and wait for a thump
Solid catch, ‘Yippee,’ and a celebratory high jump.
The best part is batting. The Grands are excited.
They’ve sat on the bench, patient and quiet,
awaiting instruction on how to begin.
Helmets on first to protect the big grins.
First at bat is Sis. She swings at the ball.
Take off running, go fast, and don’t fall.
Next is Bubba, he’s four and ‘number-one’ son.
Good swing, go to second, turn third, homerun!
One more inning in the outfield, concentrating on the game
Other kids hit the ball. It’s much of the same.
The second time at bat, Sis and Bubba start it off.
The enjoyment on their faces is the ultimate payoff.
At the end of the game, there are snacks and drinks
Confessing their hunger, Gam gives them a wink.
Attempting new things is never a mistake
Confidence gained, a ‘piece of cake.’