Last year, I returned to the place of my first construction employment after being gone for 32 years. I’m not sure why I went all the way back to where I started, OK I am sure why I went back, Elaine forced me to get a job. She didn’t force me to take that job, but it was a job and it felt like I belonged there. However, in hind sight it makes me wonder what I was doing for 32 years I might have received a gold watch or a bronzed hammer had I stayed.
Now I have decided to take another step back in time. Like going back to work, this step back is not my idea. This time the twins are responsible for my return to yesterday.
Boy Twin: Monner, we want to play baseball.
Me: Sounds great, Grandma and I will get you signed up.
Girl Twin: We want you to be our coach.
Boy Twin: You coached our dad’s team, we want you to coach our team.
The twins were right, I did coach their dad’s team. 18 years ago! Without getting specific, that would have put me in my middle thirties.
My mind was racing. I haven’t thrown a baseball in 18 years. Actually the only thing I have thrown was a few hundred rocks at the yaks while they were trying to tear down my fences. There are quite a few differences between throwing rocks at yaks and throwing a baseball to a kid. Almost always throwing rocks at yaks includes construction language. As a coach, it is hard to endear yourself to the other parents using construction language. Yaks don’t seem to care.
I might have thrown three rocks a week for the last few years. Coaching baseball I might need to throw a couple hundred baseballs at each practice. I’m getting tired just thinking about it.
I coached the baseball teams my son (the twins dad) off and on for a decade. What lies a head of me scares the (construction language) out of me. I am friends with the director of youth baseball in our town. I told her the kids want to play.
Me: Hey Pat, the kids twins want to play ball, how do we get them signed up?
Pat: The information is on our website. Do you want to coach?
Me: Well, I guess we need to talk about that.
Pat: Great, I will put them on a team of kids from no particular school. I will tell the parents that you are the coach.
I’m not sure we talked about it. I’m sure she talked. I just nodded my head. No wonder she is the director.
Our team had our first practice. I wanted to observe the kids batting skills. I decided I would pitch to the kids. I promptly hit a kid on the knee. I wasn’t throwing very hard and the kid shook off the pain just like an eleven year old kid would. He got right back in the batter’s box. The next pitch I hit him in the shoulder.
A good coach (and pitcher) always blames the batter. I told him, “Hey Buddy, if you see the ball coming right at you, you don’t need to stay there. Get out of the way!” “OK, Coach”, he replied. Now we are getting somewhere!
This boy had cut the sleeves off his shirt. Visible was a baseball size welt on his upper arm reminding me I might not be the coach I once was. I was thinking “Pat, this is your fault, I haven’t done this in years (decades). I was happy in my retirement”.
I didn’t hit anymore kids, so I think it will get better from here.
The twins dad (my son) loved baseball. He was the most competitive person in the world will playing baseball. The twins are not like that, they want to play because it is going to be fun.
I don’t know why their teammates are playing. One of the kids is playing so he can teach me science. I mentioned to the kids that we need to play like a team and help each other. Mr. Science then told me, “We need to move together like molecules moving in the same direction”. I hope to survive this.
Our crazy lives!