My Louisville Slugger
Back in my college days, I lived in a beautiful home with three roommates. Since my room was on the ground floor and my roommates lived upstairs, I imagined that anyone who might want to break in would find me first. I kept a Louisville Slugger under my bed just in case.
One morning, in the wee hours, I heard a noise in the kitchen. Instantly awake, I reached for my trusty bat and went to investigate. Peeking around the corner, I saw a young man half in, half out of the kitchen window. He had a friend outside. They were so busy trying to get the one unstuck that they didn't see me at first.
I paused for a moment, trying to figure out what to do. It seemed unsportsmanlike to crack open the head of someone who was so clearly not an immediate threat. And yet, letting people break in while my roommates slept didn't set a very good precedent, either.
As I considered my options, the intruders saw me, bat raised, ready to strike. Consternation over being stuck soon turned to fear as they evaluated the danger.
"Your roommate, Christine, said to stop by any time," the one in the window explained. "We thought it would be funny to surprise her." I clearly was not seeing the humor. All the commotion woke up the girls upstairs, and the story was confirmed. I mumbled something about not pausing for a second glance next time and went back to bed.
I never used that bat again. Word got out that a crazy lady lived in our house, and I was fine with that. Still, I kept the bat.
My kids find my old bat from time to time, and they want to use it to play baseball. I let them borrow it on a check-out basis, always expecting it to be returned. With the mild weather we had a couple weeks ago, that bat was in heavy rotation.
Sophia has often lamented that her siblings don't love baseball as much as she does. She'd play all day if I would let her, oblivious to chores and school and mealtime, if she could just field a team. With friends visiting recently, she had enough interested bodies to play a modified game of baseball, and she was thrilled.
The kids spread out in the yard. When Max wanted to be the catcher, I had to remind him to get out of range of the bat. I thought I'd made the point fairly clearly to all the children, but my kids sometimes take my advice on a need-to-know basis. Most of the time, they think they don't need to follow any instructions I am giving to another child.
And so it happened that Atticus walked right into my bat in full swing. On that fine spring day, he learned that "step into it" really applies to the batter, not so much to the spectators.
The kids brought him into the house, then came looking for me. I'm the one who kisses the owies and assesses the damage. The initial swelling was a bit frightening. For a while, my son sported a forehead that would have made Frankenstein envious.
We quickly fashioned an ice pack headband to fit just in the right spot and tucked Atticus onto the couch and in front of a movie. Within a few minutes, he was fine. The restorative powers of kisses, ice and movies cannot be underestimated.
The bat is back in the corner, waiting for the clouds and rain to clear. Hard-knock lessons seem to stick, so I'm hopeful that our baseball injuries are finished for the year.
Rose Godfrey is a speech pathologist and homeschooling mom in Meridian. Her homeschool blog can be found on the Appeal-Democrat website at appealdemocrat.com.