Clair McFarland: My Sons Got Enough Touchdowns To Win Their Baseball Match

Clair McFarland writes: “They twist their skinny brown fingers around their bats. When each twin’s turn comes, he beats an atom plume out of the dusty home plate."

Clair McFarland

May 04, 20236 min read

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(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

Some of you like baseball, and that’s OK.  

I never followed the sport before I had kids, but now I do with three of my sons in baseball this season.  

“Come on, buddy, get the points!” I yelled from my perch on the high chrome bleachers.  

“Runs,” said The Husband.  

“Who runs?” I asked.  

“No. We call them runs. In baseball, the points are called runs,” he said.  

In the whole English language, “run” is one of my favorite words, right up there with “cheesecake” and “Sasquatch.” So I’m thrilled to have a new excuse to throw it around.  

My middleborn son is in Little League majors and my twins are in the minors.  

The big, sweet twin has a zeal for it, but the little, feisty twin has doubts about the ball. And its intentions.  

They twist their skinny brown fingers around their bats. When each twin’s turn comes, he beats an atom plume out of the dusty home plate with his bat’s round barrel end.  

“Why do we do that?” Big-Sweet asked me as we drove to the ballpark together earlier that day.  

I have no idea why they beat home plate with their bats.  

“You’re measuring whether you’re standing the proper distance from the plate,” I said.  

“Ahhhh,” said Big-Sweet, relieved that I had all the answers. “That makes sense.”  

I nodded.  

Once we got the twins and Middleborn to their different games, I felt the urge to use the ladies’ room. The door was locked, though.  

“Hey!” yelled a bystander in the crow’s nest. “It’s not open yet this season.”  

I trudged back to the bleachers. 

“That was quick,” said The Husband, for whom time doesn’t stop even when he goes to the bathroom.  

“It’s not open yet this season,” I muttered. “I can’t go.” 

The Husband squinted at the dry brown diamond. A pitcher standing 4 feet high in mirrored aviator sunglasses danced to a pre-game snippet of Tag Team’s “Whoomp! (There It Is)” that thundered from the loudspeaker.  

My twins, who are less confident, stood in left field and right field.  

I bit my lip and eyed the weedy ditch just beyond the T-ball field’s fence.  

I’ve carried and birthed four children, including twins. In the womb they all used my bladder as a banjo. Nobody locks me out of the bathroom without a fallout.

“Hey, do you think anyone would notice if I hopped that fence and – “ 

“Yes,” said The Husband. “People would notice.”  

I inhaled through my teeth.  

The Husband asked if I would like anything from the concessions stand.  

“Not if I can’t use the bathroom afterward,” I groaned.  

I looked around at the sunscreened home-towners eating their chili dogs, drinking their sodas. I imagined them all erupting like Mentos in a diet Pepsi the moment they learned — as I had — that their concessions had no outlet.  

“Oh!” said The Husband. “There’s a port-a-potty right over there.”  

I bolted for it.  

To my delight I discovered not one, but two port-a-potties — not that I had any use for the second one.  

When I got back, The Husband handed me a plate of chili cheese fries and a bottle of water.  

Big-Sweet got a walk onto first base.  

I craned my neck to see how Middleborn was doing in the field behind me. He was standing in right field, pale as the morning star and skinny as a winter prairie dog. He and his team were trying to shut down a fifth-inning rally by their opponents.  

The opponents, meanwhile, swiveled their hats on backward and chanted each batter’s name.  

“Let’s-Go-Todd-dy!” chanted the foes.   

The Husband exhaled.  

“Gosh I miss that,” he said.  

The Husband has always been so good at being part of something. A game. A community. A highly technical fantasy football league.  

I, on the other hand, do better when I can tackle life just outside of those meaningful structures. As a minority of one. With no one throwing things at me.  

But I can celebrate my boys’ baseball successes when I have a faint idea from all the ruckus that something good has happened.  

The twins won their game by a heap of runs. Middleborn’s team won by one.  

The Husband made the boys line up for a photograph. And as my blue-eyed twins smiled in the setting sun I realized … 

“Your eyes are green!” 

They looked at each other to be sure I was right.  

“Does — does baseball turn your eyes from blue to green?” I asked.  

Big-Sweet blinked. “Nah, Mom, I know what that’s from,” he said.  

“What’s it from?” 

“It’s just the reflection from the enemies’ jerseys. They stay in our heads for a while.”  

Just then, the other team jostled past us in their neon yellow jerseys on their way to the concessions stand.  

The Husband sighed again. He’s once again part of something magical and intricate, some waltz in which victory and defeat exist merely for their own sake.  

“Mom, did I do good?” asked Big-Sweet.  

“Oh honey,” I said. “You were a real Sasquatch.”

Clair McFarland may be reached at:

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Clair McFarland

Crime and Courts Reporter