Saturday, April 16, 2005

A Day of Play

So much activity, so little time.

On Saturday, Bethany and I loaded up and went to Saginaw to see my nephew and niece play sports. Aubrey, my niece, had a soccer game at 9:30, followed by my nephew Bradley’s soccer game at 10:30 and Bradley’s baseball game at 11:30.

As it turned out, Bradley had photos taken on this particular day, so we skipped his soccer game.

So, we first went to watch Aubrey play soccer. This was the first sporting event of hers I have ever attended. Aubrey has always been quite shy and tends to be reserved in the public, and today proved to be no different.

When we arrived, Aubrey met us by running circles around Bethany and I, giggling and squealing. We settled in on the sideline and waited for the game to begin. Then something happened. As near as I can tell, it was either that Aubrey was told that she shouldn’t wear sunglasses on the field or that she was told not to kick the ball until the referees were ready. In any event, Aubrey quickly wilted and was reduced to standing sullenly on the field, not responding to anyone around her. Michelle (her mother) quickly went out and scooped her up and it took some time for Aubrey to get over whatever trauma she had endured.

A little while later, Aubrey retook the field. As she warmed up with her teammates, she seemed to be in high spirits. But once again, something was said or done that upset her and she was soon reduced to standing alone and crying in the middle of the soccer field. The ball would roll towards her and children would streak past, but Aubrey merely stood motionless and quietly sobbed until she was once again scooped up and consoled.

Sometimes it’s just tough being a little girl …

We also were able to spend time with my brother David, who brought my other niece, Alyssa, along for a visit. Alyssa is two years old and is quite an entertainer. She would smile at us to draw us in and then give us the most pathetic looking frown you’ve ever seen. Then she’d burst out giggling. Too much fun, I suppose.

Aubrey came out of her shell around Alyssa. The two had a big day, playing and jabbering with one another. Last summer, one of my favorite pictures of the beach trip was one where they stood staring each other down. This weekend they struck a similar pose, but Alyssa has grown so much that the difference was quite startling.

Of course, Bradley had a big day. He went three for three and scored three runs. On one defensive play, he cleanly fielded a ball, tagged the runner and then threw out a player at second. His quickness and agility were way above the level of most of the other kids.

In fact, during warm-ups, the coach had to keep increasing the distance between the players because Bradley kept pouncing on the ground balls, keeping the other kids from getting any practice in. He’s becoming quite an athlete.

After the game, we all went to CiCi's pizza for lunch, where we celebrated both of my parents’ birthdays. It was a long and full day, but it was good to spend time on fun activities for a change.


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