Best. Weekend. Ever.
Diminutive One, as you know, has had a pretty rough time of it lately. I've tried to make it better, but there's only so much I can do to make this situation suck less for him.
This weekend, life stepped in and gave a mutha a helpin' hand.
Friday night, he was invited to a friend's house after school to play. I know, your kids have playdates all the time and it's no big whoop. But for my socially awkward child who has difficulty making friends, it was a HUGE deal.
Another boy from his class was invited as well, and the three of them played airsoft (like BB guns, but slightly less injurious. YES, yes, yes...they were all wearing proper protective gear.) for hours, stalking one another in the heavily wooded yard. For Diminutive One, this was nothing short of bliss. He proudly displayed several red marks on his forearm where he had been pelted.
Friday morning he had a baseball game at 9 a.m. It's the playoffs, so the outcome of the game was important. But we quickly gained a pretty comfortable lead and the pressure was off. So the coach decided to put him on the mound.
Oh boy. The last time he pitched, it did not go well. He's still a novice, and not terribly sure of himself. He hadn't expected to pitch that day, and hadn't practiced or even warmed up properly. It was a disaster. One child on his team was loudly critical and accused him of losing the game. It was a real morale buster.
He hasn't pitched since that day.
I BEGGED husband, who is an Assistant Coach, not to let the Head Coach put him on the mound. Not because I gave a flip about how many runs he gave up, but because I didn't think, given what he's been through, that he would be able to endure the humiliation if he did poorly. But he wanted to do it, and Husband thought we should let him. I deferred to his judgement.
Now, it's hard for even the most experienced kid to get out there on the mound. The pressure is unbelievable. But Diminutive One stood up there looking fearless and resolute. I thought no kid had ever been more brave than he was at that moment.
He squared his shoulders, took a deep breathe, and threw.
He struck out two batters. The other got a short line drive and was easily thrown out at first. He didn't hit anybody, walk anybody, or give up any runs.
He walked about six feet off the ground the rest of the day.
Later that evening, he and I attended a "lock in" at a local entertainment venue. Because Principal Dragonlady cancelled the traditional fifth grade trip for no good reason that anybody could ascertain, some Moms got together to organize a special event for them outside of the school.
We arrived around 11 and he capered and cavorted with some of the other kids while I and several other Moms got things set up. He was very light of heart you see, because his nemesis was not attending. Why?
"We talked about it...." said my friend, who was largely responsible for coordinating the event. "And he's not going to be invited. Don't even argue because we already decided. Diminutive One deserves this because of all he's been through. We've got 16 adults to supervise 115 kids...you can't be with him every second! He shouldn't have to worry about it. Besides, Bully is mean to every one and nobody needs that tonight. Tonight is about FUN."
I could have kissed them all right then. I was very touched. But I did feel bad for that kid. It's not fun to be excluded, although he certainly wasn't the only child that didn't attend. Only about half the fifth grade students participated.
We had an amazing night. Exhausting, but amazing.
At midnight they watched a movie, ate pizza, socialized and goofed off in a private room. At 2 a.m. when the venue closed to the public, they were turned loose in the building. They had unlimited bowling, billiards and video games until 6 a.m.
I bowled several games with Diminutive One and his friends, played some air hockey, drank soda, ate cake, and watched them all enjoying themselves with a kind of abandon that now exists for most of us only in our memory.
I held wet paper towels to the head of a child who had overindulged. I wiped the tears of a little girl who had tripped and fallen onto her plate, ruining her lovely outfit. I untangled an earring that was hopelessly snarled in strands of sweaty, silky hair and patched a scraped knee. I located lost shoes, purses and phones.
Breakfast was serverd to the ravenous hoarde at 5.
At 6, bleary eyed parents began arriving to pick up their offspring and by 7:00 we had everything cleaned up and loaded in the van. By 7:30 we were at home. I tried to usher Diminutive One up to bed, but he pleaded with me to stay up. He was high on sugar and fun and wouldn't have been able to sleep anyway, so I acquiesced. I figured he would crash on his own when he finally came down. Until his Dad and his brother arose, he had the television all to himself, a rare treat indeed in a house with only one.
Later that afternoon, a neighborhood chum came to call and they spent the afternoon working on a video production in his room.
At dinner I commented that it had been a pretty fun and exciting weekend.
"Are you kidding me? This was like...the best. Weekend. EVER!"
As he cleared the table, I could hear him whistling. And I realized that I couldn't recall the last time I had heard the once familiar sound. He used to whistle incessantly.
Why hadn't I noticed that it had stopped?
I was not annoyed as I usually am. I didn't tell him to "cut it out already!".
I listened to his tuneless little song and thought that it was the most beautiful thing I had heard in a very long time.
Best weekend ever. Yeah. Absolutely.