Thursday, March 15, 2007

Home Run!

“The best way to waste your life, ... is by taking notes. The easiest way to avoid living is to just watch. Look for the details. Report. Don't participate.”

Well, I doubt any of us can top the birthday present Zach got a day, in the second game of the double header, Zach hit the ball out of the park! A home run! It was very exciting. But maybe not so much for the guy who owns that black truck he hit. His first two at bats were a single (on an error) and a strike-out, so when he got up to bat, Kate, Duke and I ran to sit on Dave's rock...and KA-BOOM! Thanks, Dave! WW split the double header with Pendleton, losing 10-3 the first game and winning 10-5 the second game. It was a bit cold, but isn't that how opening day is supposed to be?

All the moms, shivering under blankets. All the dads pacing along the fence. Sunflower seeds and dogs and kids shouting. Zach's mask hitting the dirt when he throws it off to go after a fly ball. Tuff talking it up at first base. Morgan smiling on his way in to the dugout. Ryan staring down the batter. Justin making the double play. Brandon swinging for the fence. It was everything we'd waited for all winter long. Zach's home run and throwing a guy out as he tried to steal second. All that we'd waited for, and more than we'd hoped for. Today, winter lost its grip on my heart.

Last night, I went to the store, came home. The boys unloaded the car and emptied the garbage. Kate finished the dishes. I put the leftover pasta into tupperware. Somebody swept the floor and somebody walked the dog and somebody changed a light bulb. Homework was done. Laundry was folded. Everyday sorts of things. Earlier, I had helped Zach re-lace his catcher's shin guards and re-size his catcher's mask...just like I figured out football pants and shoulder pads in the fall.

For that minute, while putting away ordinary groceries, I stood, staring into the full refrigerator, the door wide open, Duke at my feet, and I thought..."We're doing it, Dave. Do you see us? Do you see us?"

It's not easy, and it's not always pretty, but we're doing it. The fridge is full, so are tummies. There's a roof over our heads and gas in the tank. We figured out how to get gear ready and how to get to...and through...a game on our own. It's been a year and a half, and we're still breathing.

So I took that moment, to look ithe fridge, look at milk, eggs, lettuce, pickles and tomatoes, and recognize one more baby step toward...well, toward whatever is next.

And here are some of the reasons we've made it.

My heart may feel empty sometimes, but my house never is. There is noise...lots of it. Boisterous shouting and wrestling and jumping around. Chest puffing, arm thumping and excess testosterone. X-box and NCAA. Cougar shirts. Scary movies. Smelly shoes. BIG smelly shoes. Loud music. AC-DC. Van Halen. The Offspring. Switchfoot. The Beatles. Scorpions. They eat a ton of doritos and cookies by the dozen. I buy salsa by the gallon and soda by the case. And I wouldn't trade a single second of it. Besides, they help paint rooms, move furniture, refinish decks, tear out floors, assemble shelves, carry stuff, open jars and fix almost as many things as they break. And I thank God for them every day.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Mission Ridge

Kenny was astounding.
Two silvers and a bronze this year.
He was on the intermediate run, which is W-A-Y up the mountain, so we couldn't actually watch him, we had to wait until he came back down the hill after his runs. Kate and I went together, Z had baseball practice so he couldn't go. Kate and I had fun in between the skiing, it was a girly weekend. And Special Olympics is...well...special. Truly. There isn't anything like it. I'm working on a slideshow that integrates the photos with the video. We have some great footage of Kenny. But also some great video of a little guy with Downs Syndrome who was just dancing away in between the medal ceremonies. It's such an incredible feeling. And they had some military officers there to give out the medals, and also some of the SeaGals. Anyway, some pictures...