My sons David and Cameron are 11 and 8. One of David’s favorite things to do is to insult Cameron. One of Cameron’s favorite things to do is to cry about it. Five minutes before we were about to leave for Cam’s baseball game tonight, David made a point of telling him that his team stinks. And despite my hours of lecturing Cameron about how David’s opinions and commentary don’t mean a hill of beans, and to just ignore it, because all he’s looking for is the reaction, Cameron cried.
Cameron played a particularly aggressive game tonight. I’m not sure if it was fueled by David’s remark, or all the brutalization he’s withstood for eight years. I don’t advocate violence in childhood sports, but it did bring a smile to my face when Cameron put all that training together tonight to get the baddest out of the season.
The team they played was full of big bruiser kids. We’d finally found our footing during the last inning and scored big, but the outcome wasn’t going to be in our favor. So a little bit of poetic justice was served when a large kid from the opposition hit a ball hard to center, rounded first and chugged down the second base line as Cam, the wily second baseman, fielded a throw from the outfielder, put his foot in front of the base, dropped his shoulder and laid down a tag that would have made an MLB catcher proud. The runner tried to slide into him, but Cameron stood his ground, and held onto the ball. Third out. Prevented the team from five-running us a second time.
David had already pounded the last ounce of fear out of Cameron’s body, so a kid running into him was a walk in the park .
© Jennifer Alys Windholz, 2011