On Friday, I usually take all the kids with me on errands, and we often go to the library. However, I had planned on today being a sewing day, and I wanted as few interruptions as possible, so I decided to run to Target last night. So, after the little girls were in bed, I took Ethan, and off we went.
Upon starting the truck, I saw the “low fuel” light, and remembered it had been on for about 30 miles the last time I took the truck out, so I needed to get gas ASAP. We headed up the road towards the gas station and Target. Got to the gas station, which is about four miles from our house, and while the shop was open, all of the gas pumps were corded off and closed. I didn’t stick around to find out why. The next-nearest gas station was another good four miles away, so I nosed the truck in that direction, even though it rather took us out of our intended path to Target.
Ethan is a tremendous worry-wort, and was just certain we were going to run out of gas. I had some fears myself, but put on a happy face — something I never thought I would do as a mother; I value INTEGRITY, after all, and smiling in the face of concern isn’t integrous… or is it??? I’m changing my stance on that, obviously, because sometimes, a child’s heart needs to be protected from the “what ifs” about running out of gas on the side of the road, and if he saw me fretting, I know he’d just about panic. So. Happy face it was, with lighthearted chat, all the way down the street to the next gas station. Thankfully, we did not run out. Even if we would have, it wouldn’t have been a big deal. I would either have called AAA, or a friend who is a police officer and who lives in the area where we were traveling; I know he would have been happy to assist. Worst case scenario, I could have called my husband, but I didn’t really want to, because that would mean he would have had to pull the little girls out of bed, and pack them into the truck, along with our two other boys.
Gassed up, we headed to Target.
While in Target, we ran into another baseball family. The boy, Anthony, was on Ethan’s Fall Ball team in 2008, and on an opposing team this just-completed season. Anthony was there with his mom, Mrs. D., whose first name I always forget (I think she forgot my name, too, as she never used it), his brother, and three other friends. Brave soul. I don’t know what she was doing at Target with five boys, all in the 8-11 age range, but they pretty much ran amok as she, Anthony, and I were chatting (and Ethan, to a lesser extent). In some ways, it was a really good conversation — about the ups and downs of the season. I unloaded some of my concerns about our coaches (her husband coached their son’s team), and she agreed that she had seen some of my “issues” in action. No matter. Then, the topic switched over to Grant. I told her that we likely wouldn’t have Grant be playing baseball again.
That’s where the conversation became sort of surreal to me… She was, in a very quiet, very gentle way, HIGHLY insistent that we keep Grant in baseball, but maybe drop him down to AA next season, and definitely have him play Fall Ball (both Fall Ball and AA ball are more instructional, less competitive). I tried to explain that we were looking for something that would be a better fit with Grant’s personality, strengths, and weaknesses, as this past season was a great frustration to everyone involved. She was sure that the “better fit” was just to drop him down a level. Might be. Martin and I haven’t decided 100% that Grant will never play baseball again… just 98%. 😉 But, in most conversations I have with other mothers, if there’s a gentle disagreement, at the end, there’ll be some resolve like, “Well, you’re the mother; I’m sure you’ll make the best choice possible.” Not here. Mrs. D. is a lovely woman. Beautiful, laid-back, langourous eyes, gentle spirit… but absolutely rigid about Grant playing baseball. I was a little taken aback. Not much, because she wasn’t combative or anything. She just stood her ground, not giving an inch. Each point I brought up about how this or that might be best resolved by Grant doing some other activity, she brought the conversation back around to baseball, and how we should keep Grant playing.
We talked for a good 20 minutes.
The Target trip that should have taken about an hour ended up taking more than TWO, what with the gas, the conversation, and the fact that the Target people decided to rearrange 25% of the store, and none of the items were where I thought they were going to be, and we ended up circling endlessly around until we found them, or found an employee to point us in the right direction.
At about 10:00, we rolled into the driveway, IBC Cream Sodas in hand (the six-pack was less expensive than buying a single refrigerated soda or water each). It was a nice time with my son. Mostly.