I felt sorry for Cupcakes.
Not only did Cupcakes have to deal with ridiculous Springfield drivers, but our agreed upon date for a game of catch fell on the morning after an even more ridiculous April snow with a wind chill in the low-teens.
I passed the law offices of Robert Sweere on the way to meet Cupcakes. His ever thought-provoking sign read, “Yes Virginia, There is a spring.”
So I took Cupcakes a cup of coffee as an apology on behalf of the weather and the motorists of southwest Missouri and kept the heat on high in my van.
Cupcakes is a brilliant lawyer in Arkansas and part of Team Sungwoo. We met a few years ago online courtesy of Royals Twitter. When I asked her about her handle she simply explained, “Cupcakes make everything better. I’m just a big fan of cupcakes.” She is always the first person to let me know whenever First Boys of Spring is playing on TV and regularly posts pictures of her dog Buster cheering for the Royals. Until this morning, we had never met in person.
Before I broke my ankle and before the Royals were good, Cupcakes was the person who encouraged me to give yoga a chance, suggesting I join a class at the local YMCA. I really did love those classes, but stopped doing yoga during and after dealing with my ankle. Yoga is one of those things on my “I’d really like to get back to doing this again” list.
So, less than five minutes after meeting her, Cupcakes helped me warm up with chair yoga. It felt fantastic.
Cupcakes recently got married. Her husband is an officer who she affectionately nicknamed “Copcakes” on Twitter. I thought it was brilliant. As we walked out to brave the weather, Cupcakes said, “I’m not very good at spherical sports.”
When the wind chill is in the teens, no one is good at spherical sports.
I learned that Cupcakes first started cheering for the Royals in 1988, thanks to Bret Saberhagen. I also learned that she made a bet about the MSU Bears and Arkansas baseball game and someone I’ve already played catch with owes her a rack of ribs. I learned that Copcakes is a fan of the team in St. Louis and I understand that marriage dynamic as my wife used to be a fan of that team, too.
And then she asked a brilliant question that completely distracted my brain. Go figure. A lawyer asking a brilliant question.
“What has this project taught you so far?”
I thought about that question all the way home. I scrolled through the first 90-plus days of the blog and looked at all the pictures of catch-playing friends.
There are two lessons that stand out the through the first quarter of 2018.
The first is that it takes intentional and persistent effort to connect with people face-to-face in this social media driven age. Some days really have required work to find someone willing to take a break from screens and step outside and toss a ball. And each game of catch, even the ones in ridiculous weather, have been a blast. Creating space to creatively connect through playing catch has been rewarded every single day.
The second lesson is there are some amazing people doing good work in this world. I am inspired by their stories every single day.
Cupcakes’ dream for 2018 is to help victims of domestic battery and abuse receive a fair resolution and find the resources they need to begin the healing process and move forward.
Now, one of my goals this summer is to make it to my first NWA Naturals game. I’m hoping Copcakes will be up for tossing a ball and sharing some of his stories, too.