The previous hours had been spent watching t-ballers parade and tumble on bounce houses. But as the sun set and the crowds dwindled, the coaches and managers took to the field.
They warmed up as we tried to cozy up next to each other on the bleachers. Drew asked me, "Have you ever seen Daddy play baseball before?"
Once or twice, I recalled to him.
"Can he hit and throw and catch, too?"
Oh sure.. He can do all those things, buddy! I think you're going to enjoy watching him play.
The scrimage game started, and the bigger boys heckled from the sidelines. Plenty of "old man" jokes were thrown around, as good-natured jeering spurred our men to prove they still had "it" out there on the diamond.
The opposing team sent their first player to bat, and the pitch was an easy target. A loud crack accompanied the ball as it flew high over the left field fence.
The little crowd went wild! A boy walked past our spot just as I heard him say, "Oh yeah... my dad's EPIC isn't he?"
I smiled, delighted on behalf of that daddy, who was rounding the bases toward home plate.
Turning to pull my son in closer from the chilly wind, I heard him sigh, "I wish it was my Daddy who got that home run."
My delighted heart cringed a bit as I took in the awe-tinged jealousy Drew felt toward that big kid. He said nothing more... just went back to sucking on a root beer flavored lollipop and staring into the outfield.
A few more players scored for the opposing team, and then three outs sent them to their dugout, while our team switched gears and warmed up their bats.
Drew's daddy was first in the batting lineup, and I watched him patiently wait by homeplate as the pitcher perfected his form. I tapped Drew on the leg when it was time for him to pay attention, and his daddy stepped up to the plate.
The first pitch was unimpressive, and my husband declined to swing at the second ball as well. I figured a "Walk" might be a safe way for my husband to get to first.
The pitcher threw the ball again, and I heard a familiar crack. Losing the ball for only a moment in the bright lights, I caught up with it's trajectory as it sailed over the centerfield fence.
The crowd may have gone wild again, but I couldn't hear anyone else's cheers over our own. Drew and I high-fived eachother with mouths open in disbelief.
"MY DADDY GOT A HOME RUN! MY DADDY GOT A HOME RUN!" he shouted. And as his daddy rounded the bases toward home, his boy hopped down the bleachers and ran toward the fence.
I stayed in my seat, giving my hubby a casual thumbs-up and a smile. The boy stayed glued to the dugout for the rest of the game.
It was, in a word, epic.