“Will you play baseball with me?” my four year old asks.
“In a little bit.”
“Okay, here’s the ball. I’m first batter.”
“Not right now.”
“But the game already started. If you don’t play now, your team is going to lose.” My four year old grins.
“I’m first batter,” he reminds me.
I follow him outside. The game begins. I throw the first pitch. He watches it go over the plate.
“No! You can’t pitch yet. They’re playing my song.” He does a few dance moves.
Then takes a practice swing. Gives me the nod, and his red baseball cap drops over his eyes. He has baseball caps from all teams who wear red. Today, he supports the Nationals.
I throw it a little high. And, lifting the cap back on his head, he calls it, “Ball!”
I throw the next one over the plate. He swings and misses. “Ball!”
“That was a strike.”
“No! The Emp says!” he argues. (“Emp” = “umpire”.) “Ball Two!”
Another pitch, and he hits it, his little legs carrying him to first base.
As soon as he touches first, he heads back to home plate. “Now I’m second batter. That’s really me. I’m our best hitter. First batter is our second best hitter. He’s third base. Second batter can be the best hitter, you know.”
“Of course he can.”
He walks back to home plate. “So I’m second batter.” Stands very still and serious.
This time I know what is going on. “What’s your theme song?” I ask.
We sing and dance to our music. “I throw my hands up in the air sometimes saying, Ayo, Gotta Let Go!”
My eight year old approaches ready to play, but… “What are you doing?”
“It’s the batter’s song,” I say.
“In real baseball, they don’t dance to it.”
“This is our game,” I say. “if you want to play…”
The four year old batter takes a practice swing.
I throw the pitch.
“You can be third batter!” he yells happily to his brother as he passes him on his way to first base.
But you have to have a song. “Emp” says.