Monday, May 08, 2006

quick bat quick bat

my mother swears up and down that if it hadn't been for the electric company, i wouldn't have learned to read as early as i did. she read to me a lot too, and did little phonics cards, but still she gives the majority of the credit to tv.

pretty much the only thing that i watch on tv during wile's waking hours is baseball. and not too often—i'm usually more than happy to listen to the game on the radio. but every once in a while i'll put the game on, or just turn it on sporadically throughout the game to catch the replay of a delgado home run or a pedro strikeout or a sweet d. wright catch (or close-up). all in all, i'd say he's watched about 7 or 8 inning total of baseball in his entire life.

but apparently, he's been paying attention.

a few weeks ago, we were in the ball pit at the playground—the fenced-in area where there are sprinklers in the summer—wile scooped up the ball, turned to me, said "pih!", then kicked up his leg a la dontrelle, cocked his arm back and held that position for a few minutes, then let one fly.

once i picked my jaw up off the concrete, i tried to remember if i had ever "pitched" the ball to him in one of our countless games of catch. i couldn't remember ever doing it. we'd talked about pitching when we'd read his baseball book, but the pictures in the book only show pitchers in their follow-through, not in their wind-up.

then last week we were in the dining room playing a rousing game of take all the empty plastic seltzer bottles out of the recycling, and, awesome game though it is, i got a little bored. so i picked up one of the bottles and the ba-ball that was lying on the ground, said "hey wile, check this out", and threw the ball up and hit it with the bottle. you could just about hear all the bells going off in his head. he broke out in a huge grin, grabbed a bottle, held it up over his right shoulder, rolled the ball to me, and said "pih! pih!" so i threw him a nice lob, and he whacked it. a clean single.

all of which leads me to two conclusions:

1. we have to really think about what we let him watch on tv. or listen to on the stereo. or listen to coming out of our mouths....

2. though we've suspected it for some time now, he truly is destined for the big leagues. obviously.



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