I have a question for you, he says, and I cannot help but smile. This boy who mixes tenses and verbs and syntax often sounds like a little man now. I hate it, but I love it.
What’s your question?
You wanna pway dis game I did make?
Yes, I do.
Ok. I have all the stuff. Come outside.
And I follow him.
He has 2 wiffle balls, a padded Detroit Tigers bat, medical gloves, and a plastic machine gun lined up on the lawn. I am directed to stand a ways off.
You gonna throw the ball for me, AT me. I gonna hit it. Den, after I hit it I gotta run run run run run run run around back to my gun. And den I haffa shoot the sprocket.
Yeah. The sprocket.
And what do I do?
You haffa get the ball a’fore I get to my gun and shoot the sprocket.
Is this like the biathlon we watched? With the skiing and the shooting at the Olympics?
I watch as his face breaks out in unmistakable joy.
YES. ‘Cept us don’t have any skiis. Or snow. Or glasses. Ok? You got it? You ready? I’s gonna hit the ball.
Y’all. I played this game for an hour yesterday and have the bruises to show for it. That kid can turn a wiffle ball in a missile… and don’t worry about his form. He hits just fine. He also runs like he stole somethin’. I just… I’m just so tired.
But I know the time is coming when his speech will even out, when he’ll be able to start his bike on his own, when he won’t ask me to play scary biathlon with him anymore. Right now, I am the starting pitcher on his team and I plan to be at every game.
I’m going to need some body armor.
[Bottom right? That’s his game face. The machine gun is behind him. Top right? I pitched 2 high balls in a row. He was considering calling the bull pen but realized I was his only option.PLEASE do not miss the medical gloves on his. These were KEY.]