The ‘boys’ came to play…
…but this time would be different.
Today would be their last game at the old ‘ballpark’, the grand finale, the wrap up, the capper. It’s time to move on to a bigger ‘ballpark’.
A bit melancholic, maybe, but Life is like that. Today’s celebration becomes tomorrow’s remembrance.
It didn’t matter that snow covered the field for this final game, it had to be played. They were paying homage to the field, itself, a patch of lawn where two young boys learned the finer points of baseball from their coach, a devoted dad who used the sport to teach his sons lessons about growing up, getting along and having fun.
Over summers, I spectated from the third base side, separated from the action by the street that divided our neighborhood, west and east, witnessing the growth of the ‘team’ from young boys first learning how to swing a bat to baseball fanatics becoming ‘sluggers at the plate’, albeit still youngsters.
Some epic games were played here, high scoring events, very high, as the ‘ballpark’ was in constant use during summer months. The whack of the bat on ball, plastic on plastic, closely followed by cheerful shouting as young hitters outraced the nimble fielder, their dad, for an extra base, or two, often winning with a tumbling slide.
It’s a bit sad when the last out of the last game is made. Players collect the bat, ball and bases, the gates are shuttered and the curtain comes down on the old ‘ballpark’. It’s time to move on. It’s the same with families.
Our young neighbors and the ‘team’ are doing just that, moving on. We’ve enjoyed their friendship for 10 years and wish them well, knowing they’ll do fine. They have strong values of faith and love for one another.
As for the ‘team’, when it was all said and done, they moved on, hand in hand, likely learning more lessons from their ‘coach’.
The new field will be nice but the memories of the old field, their first ‘ballpark’, will stay with them forever. Life is like that…
For Jonathan, Eva, Noah & Jacob