Rural Illinois. It’s been a hard year for 10-year-old Greg. It’s not just global pandemics, scary events in Washington D.C., nor the fact that it’s colder than eighteen-hundred-and-froze-to-death outside. It’s more than that. Greg’s mother has breast cancer. So everything stinks.
Greg decided it was time to make his own fun. The problem is, of course, all the conditions were against him. The winter sky looked like pewter. And it was so cold you had to open the fridge to heat the house.
But then, nothing is impossible for a dedicated child. Greg decided he was going to get up a baseball game.
Now, I know what you’re thinking, because I’m thinking the same thing. What an unfitting season to have a ballgame. Especially when your region is experiencing lows of 20 to 30 degrees.
But it’s been a weird year for Greg, completely devoid of fun. He and his brother have watched his mother fight with her own body. And they have watched Greg’s father learn to do laundry, cook suppers, and become
a caregiver. They needed fun.
First, Greg approached Jason (age 9) and Andrew (10), who said they were all in for a ballgame. Next, the boys talked to Jon (10) and his brother Van (13). Everyone said, yeah, a baseball game was totally doable.
Whereupon they all biked to Martin’s (11) house, and pitched the idea. Martin was immediately onboard. But there was a snag. Martin’s sister, Laura (7), wanted to play too.
At which point Martin’s mother (42) said the boys had better include Martin’s sister or else they would have to clean the gutters for their Granny (74).
“Laura plays too rough,” explains her brother. “But we said she could play if she didn’t punch anybody.”
Laura crossed her heart. So things were working out.
Then Jon’s mother got involved. Mainly, because Jon’s mother is one of those type-A people who actually enjoys organizing…