At Natalie’s game on Saturday, at a field out of town, the sun shone brightly and temps reached 78. Dandelion stems stood at attention all over the outfield making the fresh cut grass appear messy, but crisp white chalk streaks made clear the baselines in the infield, and the game commenced on time.
I just sat and watched. And listened. And wrote things down. (I also got a sunburn, which, since I’m sharing, actually kept me awake last night. Which is saying something, because it was prom night and I was up until midnight overseeing twelve teenagers and a fire in our new fire pit out back. About which, more later.)
So. I feel the need to just say that I had never really listened to girls at a softball game before…and oh, the things they say. It’s beautiful. (I changed not one word of these sentences, and Natalie’s friend Chelsea, who doesn’t play but who came with us to watch, can vouch for that.) She even helped me write them down accurately.
Natalie’s team is called Orange Crush. Ages range from 8-12, or grades 2-6. That’s a lovely span, and provides for some truly magical conversations.
Nothing further, your readership. Enjoy.
- “This bee wants to be part of our team. Wonder if he can hit.”
- “Peak-a-Boo, on your shoe…or on your cleat, which doesn’t rhyme, but it is more accurate.”
- “You got this Mia. Think of the nachos.”
- “That is just not Crush worthy.”
- “She might steal your heart, but she will also kick your butt!”
- “Bat Girl! Bat it! I mean really. Shuck it like corn.”
- “It’s so hot. Let’s just do no clothes softball.”
- “Natalie, your mom is a mini-me. I mean a maxi-me. I mean you’re a mini of your mom. But she’s mini too.”
- “Outfielder’s Ready? No picking flowers! Stand up. No more dandelions up your nose!”
- “Well, watch the ball when you’re hitting the ball, but once you hit the ball do not watch it. That is just too much watching.”
- “Hit ’em home! But don’t really hit ’em. That’s mean.”
- “Hit the ball like it’s your brother’s face!”
- “It’s hot, like a sizzlin’ steak. Or an ice cube.”
- “Flashback!” (This was yelled with joy when a foul ball went back to the backstop.)
- “Coach, do you have any sunscream? That’s like sunscreen with ice cream inside it. Oh my god, I have to invent that.”
I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time at athletic events, and I enjoy every sport and every season. But, and if you read this blog regularly or you know me personally, there is just something special about baseball/softball. Maybe it’s that the team members are sitting in the dugouts together for half innings at a time where they have time to chat while their teammates take their turns at bat. I don’t know. But I can tell you this: I’ll be spending a lot more time sitting close and listening up. It’s like my own private comedy show.