In one final rally, the boys tried to hold on to their lead to advance to the next round of the 9u baseball playoffs. It was not in their cards. Not this time. Not this year. Not this season.
I went over to the dugout after Noochie’s last “at bat” and saw the tears welled up in his eyes. He was never going to release them but they were there, they were real and yet he wasn’t going to let them be in charge.
He held his head up high and congratulated every member of the other team. He thanked his coaches and teammates and he looked at me in Mogwai glances and then we headed to the car.
The silence overcame us as we drove off and made our way to get his other brother at football. When we arrived, he said to me, “I’m running to the “restroom”. Which for where we were, translated to the top of the football field hill and into the woods.
As time passed it dawned on me he had not yet returned to the car. I looked up the hill and there he was, in Buddha fashion, sitting cross-legged and reflecting.
I knew exactly what he needed from the moment. I knew exactly what he was reflecting on. I knew he would work it out within himself to regroup and move on. I knew he let the tears, finally take charge.
When he returned to the vehicle he was more at peace with himself. The somber look dissipated and he was humbled. I asked him if he was alright and he replied, “I’m better now, it’s hard, I don’t want the season to end and I wanted my final game to be better than the way I performed. But I looked the other way towards my football practice field and I’m ready to transition to that game. I’m not letting myself down because I learned a lot. I’m just ready to be a better version of me next year.”
Ten years old and so wise beyond his years.
We talk a lot about mindfulness. We talk about communicating with each other and unconditionally supporting our little family of four, the boys and I. They have seen me at both states. Those were I let the moment take control of me and other times when I stayed grounded and mindful. Yet, of all of us, he can practice this trait the best.
He is a constant reminder to me of what’s truly important. When to acknowledge it’s sometimes best to head for the hill. When to engage and when to simply just walk away; sometimes not even turning back.
The field dust will always be there behind us and the emptiness that takes over the bases, mound and plate sometimes is a reality. But what really matters is taking what you learned from every base, every hit and strike out, every walk and every run and make the next time around, a better version of you.
I had this bright idea about three weeks ago for Friday family movie night. I figured I’d light a fire, make some organic popcorn via stove top and put in E.T. It was PG right and the 1980’s were such an innocent time. For instance, I only had to fast forward a few times during the opening scene when the junior high boys and their little siblings were playing poker and smoking cigarettes. It’s all good. Oh and just one other time when one of the characters was calling Elliot “penis breathe.” Such a different time back then. Take note I am still not explaining what “penis breathe” is and oh my goodness the cigarettes and second-hand smoke, what is that they ask? Fast forward. Fast forward. Fast forward.
Well I might have dodged a few bullets and left Google to curious minds (insert website parental block) but I cannot escape from E.T. I cannot escape from the fact that for three weeks E.T. has caused me 21 sleepless nights. The fact that the slimy little alien resides in my three-year olds closet and now he refuses to sleep in his room or own bed. The fact that E.T. will not go home. He has traumatized my parental guidance well-being as well as my three-year old.
Whose fancy idea was it again to watch this during family movie night? Never, ever assume PG in the 1980’s is equivalent to a negative G un-squared rating in the millenia. Just because our parents exposed us to such horror in extra terrestrial beings, fury hairball Gremlins and homes in Amityville does not mean we should be quick to assume these viewings as 1980’s young-ins were safe and in our best interests as children. Perspectives change big time in 30 years. Imaginations are now technologically stimulated. “Penis breathe” is disgusting and microwaves and fury animals should never coincide. I should have researched a 1980’s PG rating. I mean it would have told me rated as such for language and mild thematic elements. Never assume, mommy. Never assume!
Plus as a mother of three boys, it is bad enough I have enough masculine energy in my home to last me a lifetime. I don’t need to stimulate the thoughts of little boys or need fake aliens harassing me. I would be horrified if my son’s kindergarten teacher called me because my little Noochie was in the principal’s office for calling a fellow kindergartener a “penis breathe.” Oh and the thought of my little dog being a test pilot for a Gremlins retake in my stainless steel microwave just sends chills up my spine. Do not give my boys any more ideas. And E.T., please phone your mother and go home already! You are driving me nuts!
Well, last night just like clockwork, little Peeno ventured into our bedroom teary-eyed and horrified. E.T. was screaming and giggling in his closet. As usual, the response was, “E.T. IS NOT REAL! Go to sleep!” Then in the morning little Peeno ran out again in tears because I left him alone in my king size bed and E.T. could have escaped from his closet and taken him. I can’t win. Plus my five-year old chimes in, “So, mommy, is E.T. then fictional or nonfictional?” I literally spit out my coffee laughing. He is so academically literal and if I answered, “He’s not real,” I would have been given a literary lecture. So I answered, “He is fictional. Now please eat your breakfast.”
Now given that my children run circles around me from sun up to sun down and I have no time for searching for E.T., I probably would never have gotten to the bottom of the horror in his closet. But since my hubby is a kid at heart, if you will, he went on an all out search for E.T. with the boys. If I ever credit this man for his childlike behavior, it will be for the finding of E.T.
So while they were on an alien hunt I was getting ready for work, packing lunches, doing laundry, woofing down breakfast and getting ready to make my bed. You know, big kid things. Then there on my bed was an article of clothing and a few accessories that I haven’t seen or touched in many years. It was my wedding slip, veil and tiara head-piece. I come running out to the kitchen where the alien hunt meeting was taking place and start frantically asking who touched this and why is it on my bed and flipping out of sorts. My husband looks at me and says, “Do you want to get to the bottom of the E.T. debacle or what?”
I sure do but not at the expense of my time and secretly hidden garments from the boys. There are certain things that are just off-limits and I purposely hid them in the closet so nobody will touch them. As all eyes are looking at me while I’m holding the garments and accessories, their gazes became blinding. In that moment of darkness I realized I was holding E.T. and I hid him in the closet. Oh my heavens. So, now that I just freaked out on everybody I looked at them and sure enough, my husband says, “THAT, what you are holding, is E.T.” E.T. was hiding in Peeno’s closet after all. In fact the more I looked at it, I could see the slimy alien dressed in a wig and tiara hiding in the closet. I just had a major mommy failure.
Can You See The Resemblance?
So the moral of the situation goes if your three-year old says E.T. is in his closet, he probably is. If more often than not your husband acts like a child, it may just save the day. For as a grown, mature adult, I never would have taken up the hunt for E.T. Like my five-year old, we are too literal. For in our minds E.T. is fictional. It’s black or white and everyone should grasp this concept in my family.
But in the future I will get down like GI-Joe ready to turn into The Hulk if need be to find the 1980’s or equivalent creatures that lurk in the closets of little boys. Now that E.T. is in my closet, I should get a complete night of sleep. Until next time when they stumble upon the clawed pinstripe sweater man, Freddy. Oh and if you sometimes question your sanity, blame it on the movies we were exposed to in the 80’s. It’s all Spielberg’s and the likes fault.