Friday, March 17, 2017

The Scribe's Mama and a Baseball

"I'm not like anyone in this family," she said.
    I smiled, remembering something I did in fifth grade.  "Oh yes you are.  I was always hatching crazy schemes."
    "You were?"
    "Yep.  Do you want to hear a story about how I tricked the boys into letting me play baseball with them?"
    She wiped her tears and nodded.
    "All right, well one day . . ."

    I never thought the story was anything special--not until the Scribe heard it.

    I was a dorky twig, far better at playing sports than playing dolls.  I knew I'd be a star on the boys' team if they just let me play, but those jerks were too good for me--a girl.  
    "We don't let girls play with us. Girls are bad luck."  
    That just proved it; they were idiots.  The only time girls are unlucky is when you make them mad!

tomboy  

    I started practicing baseball then, every day after school, until the sun went down.  I got pretty good.  My mom, dad and brother all taught me how to hit and pitch.  I went through training--no kidding.  If those boys would just say 'yes,' they wouldn't know what hit 'em.  
    But the idiots kept saying 'NO!'  
    My dream almost ended.  I could have stayed friendless and sad.  Or I could've stooped to ultimate evilness and played dolls with Wendy Smith and her posse of girlie girls!  That wasn't for me though.  Too bad I hate giving up easily AND dressing dolls.
    I watched the boys' whole setup one day after they said 'no' . . . again.  The leader (Jeff) always brought the ball and the bat.  He'd put it out in the hall during class, then at recess, all the boys would go and play.
    Stealing that ball was easier than taking candy from a baby-brat.  I still remember it.  I raised my hand and told the teacher I needed to use the bathroom.  That was a lie--a terribly sweet lie.  I ran into the hall, looked back and forth, then stole Jeff's ball, not even thinkin' it was sinful to steal from an idiot.  The prize fit great with my stuff in the hallway and no one even saw me!  I wanted to give thanks to God, for helping me steal, so I went and used the bathroom since that's what I'd told the teacher.  Maybe I didn't really have to go, but I sure tried anyway.  It wouldn't be good to lie AND steal on the same damn day.
    Well, when the recess bell rang, those boys scrambled and hooted.  Everyone got out to the field.  For once I stayed back, just watching.  Jeff came out last.  He explained something to the boys who looked awfully mad.  They were just about to leave the field when I walked closer.
    "Who would-a thunk he'd leave the ball home?" a kid whined.
    I threw the ball up and down.  Not to brag, but I caught the sucker every time.  "Funny thing," I said to the boys.  "I brought a ball today.  What are the odds?"  I tried spitting but I'd never done it before and the stuff turned to spittle.  I wiped it away fast and cursed all those old movies for making spitting look easy.
    "Give us the ball!" a boy screamed--good thing I didn't marry that dictator!
    "Sure," I pulled it away, "on one condition."
    "Name it," Jeff said.  He walked closer.
    "That you let me play."
    All the idiots groaned, apparently idiots are great at whining and groaning.  "But that's bad luck to play with a girl."
    "Is it better to not play at all?" I asked and they FINALLY let me play.
    I'd like to say I got a home run, even though I didn't.  But I will say that I proved myself and they seemed really impressed.  Jeff walked with me after last recess and smiled.  "You know, this ball looks an awful lot like the one I bring."
    I had to think fast.  I looked up at him.  My face couldn't charm him--too bad for the 'ugly phase.'  But at least I could win him over with my wit.  "You're pretty good at ball."  I paused.  "Well, so am I.  Does it really surprise you that we both have such good taste?"
    He laughed and hit me on the back.  "You're all right, Stilson.  You're all right."  It was the first time someone called me by my last name and the first time a fellow classmate hit me on the back--it WAS epic.
    The next day when Jeff's ball showed up by his stuff in the hall, he didn't even seem surprised.  I went and stood by the field, a bit sad that I'd never get to play again.  Maybe I should have just reconciled to playing dolls with Wendy Smith . . . forever.
    I sat down on the grass and prepared to watch the boys forming their teams.  It was time for the captains to pick their star players.  John 'the cherry picker' went first--don't even ask how he got his nickname, let's just say no one wanted to shake HIS hand.  When it was Jeff's turn, he smiled right at me and pointed.  "Stilson, for first pick because that girl really knows how to hit a ball.  And because she didn't give up."
    I stood by him and beamed.  "Isn't it funny how my ball just showed up today?" he whispered.
    "Yeah," I nodded. "What are the odds?"

    "So, that's how I started playing baseball with the boys," I told the Scribe.
    "It sounds like something I would do!  Mama," she said seriously, "you're all right."
    "You too."  I smiled, then patted her on the back and thought I just might start calling her by our last name.  She's always doing crazy things like scaring children and holding fundraisers FOR HERSELF, but she's one hilarious child.  She makes life fun.  I'm thankful for her and her siblings every day.

For another post about the Scribe, please go here:  The Scribe and a Scheme