Take time to catch up
Over the weekend, my family and I were invited over for lunch by some dear friends. While we talked and laughed over delicious food, their youngest son came through the dining room with an arm-load of baseball gloves.
The 8-year-old looked at his dad and said, “Will you throw with me?” To which his father replied, “Well, yes, son I will once we are finished eating.” I chimed in and said, “I would be glad to throw with you.” He smiled and said, “Well, hurry up and finish eating.”
Although the homemade pumpkin cheesecake deserved hours of appreciation, I couldn’t scarf it down fast enough, my eyes locked on the pile of leather that now found itself next to the front door. My apologies to anyone who was also in attendance, but I have no idea what the conversation was about after a game of catch was mentioned.
I finished off my slice of heaven and selected my glove. The half-pint led me around the house to the designated throwing alley.
After the first few tosses, I started talking to him about his life. Nothing major, just the basics such as sports, school and girls. The more we threw, the more he shared with me.
Mixed in with the bad throws and missed catches were glimpses into his world. I found out even though he’s playing soccer this year, he really misses baseball.
He shared with me that his older brother throws too hard but he doesn’t mind. Apparently his dad is pretty good at catch but often throws the ball into the ground, a fact that I would later see in person.
About halfway through our session, the family cat wandered onto the makeshift ball field. “Watch this, he said as he cocked his arm back. I wondered if I was about to witness something that I would later have to explain at an impromptu feline funeral. He rolled the ball past the cat and the fur ball attacked. My throwing partner shook his head, giggled and said, “That thing loves baseball.”
For the next few moments the only sound was the ball popping against the glove. As he threw the ball about 15 feet above my head, he broke the silence with a profound statement saying, “Trav, sometimes I don’t throw so good.” On cue I threw the ball into the weeds and assured him that I too misfire on occasion.
Now anyone witnessing our little game of catch would have seen just that — a game of catch. However, for this participant, it was a portal into a whole new world. For a few moments my adult worries and troubles were gone and my biggest concern was helping my friend become a better center fielder.
Maybe if adults had a few more games of catch they would need fewer visits to the therapist.