I woke up early with words on the brain and my body wanting to move which I figured was a good sign. Since Kaylea was scheduled to play in the worship band, I accompanied her to practice.
Harper stood next to me as I listened to the band practice, as I tried to stretch and find comfortable positions for my back on the pews. My computer sat in my lap and my fingers were operating on auto-pilot. There were just a few sentences I had to write down for sanity’s sake, a few sentences that were rattling around in my brain, a few sentences that will hopefully lead to a few more and who knows what will happen after that. I heard that a storm of significant size is headed this direction and predicted to last all afternoon. I knew that catch before church was a best case scenario.
“Wanna play catch?” I asked after writing down the few sentences.
“I forgot my glove,” Harper confessed.
For the first time in 2018, Harper forgot to bring his glove to church.
I did what any good friend would do, I teased him. I told him he’d have to beg and dance and mow my lawn. I rattled on and on and on.
He just stared at me stoically. He was not impressed with nor intimidated by my teasing.
“Or I could just borrow one of yours,” he stated.
Harper and I walked out the front doors of the church and were joined by Radley Scout, his sister.
“I could borrow one, too,” Radley said.
They chose gloves and we walked next door to the abandoned motel property. I threw pop-ups to Harper and rolled grounders to Radley, unsure of her comfort level with a glove. After 10 minutes, a bearded man approached us. By the way he carried himself, I initially thought he wanted to join in.
“Excuse me, sir?” he asked.
“Good morning! Wanna play catch? I’ve got extra gloves in the van.”
“Well, you see, we don’t exactly have insurance on this property yet, and playing ball, you know, anything could happen and I’d feel horrible…”
I had no idea there was anyone using the property at all. We’ve been playing catch here for weeks now. Rumor is they are considering starting a sub shop. After breaking bread in worship my family could go next door to break bread on a sandwich.
I apologized profusely and we moved the game of catch to the church parking lot, where windows and cars abound. I am still not a fan of parking lot games of catch. Thankfully, we were early and the majority of the church crowd wouldn’t arrive for another hour.
Radley used my first glove and quickly grew comfortable with it, moving from grounders to underhand tosses. She kept stepping back further and further and throwing the ball back overhand.
And laughing and laughing and laughing. Because playing catch is all about having fun.
Thoroughly dripping in sweat, we put the gloves back and went inside in search of water and air conditioning.
Walking to the van after church, the rain started to fall.