He stands on the sidewalk, which is serving as home plate, and I watch him swing and then run as fast as he can around the imaginary bases. Sometimes he counts, “Strike one. Strike two.” But he never strikes himself out, occasionally he gets a home run.
He has four bats lined up behind him in which he takes turns using each one when he is up to bat. Two plastic skinny black ones, one with white tape all over the handle for a grip, a blue whiffle ball bat, and a wooden Louisville Slugger. Poor thing has no balls to hit because at the beginning of the summer he either hit them over the fence and they got lost, the dogs ate them, or they are buried in the waist-high weeds that was our garden last summer.
I watch him examine the wooden bat. Then he whispers something to it.
“What are you doing?” I ask him.
“Playing baseball.” I guess that was a silly question.
“Are you talking to the bat?”
“Yea, Mom.” Like I should know this.
I would be worried…and maybe I should be. But then I remember that he has been watching “Everyone’s Hero” the last several days (he would watch that movie all day if he could) and there is a talking bat named Darling in it.
Oh, how this just makes me smile. I think I need more imagination.
I sit on the back cement steps watching the boys play and I’m getting kind of chilly. I should put a shirt on Collin.
But then my sweet Collin takes off. He runs with his stubby little bare feet over to steal a bat from Bradley’s collection. He manages to swipe the blue one, but is not happy and wants another one. He is just not quick enough. Bradley kneels over on his last three bats on the cold grass and holds on tight. “No, Collin! You got one. Leave me alone!” he wails.
I distract him. So Collin puts on Bradley’s old Napoleon Dynamite boots, which go above his knees, and saunters out to the swing set. He is quite a site with no shirt, no hair, Bradley’s old shorts on him that go past his knees as he stumbles through the grass with winter boots.
I think he takes after me in the fashion department. 😉