"Mommy, for my birthday, I want a baseball, and a bat, and a mitt."
My eyes sting. What is he going to do a with a baseball? He doesn't have a partner to play with.
A boy learns to play with the constant banter of throw and catch in the backyard. His dad teaches him to swing. His dad teaches him how to wear the mitt on one hand and secure the ball with the other.
His dad teaches him.
This little boy wants to play. And it's not that I don't want to be the one to teach him. It's that I can't. These jacked-up eyes do not assist in catching a ball, hitting with a bat, lighting a candle, cutting a string, or painting my toenails. Any of the above can happen by accident, but not usually without incident.
But my son wants to play ball. Baseball, please.
A fellow parent solved this one for me. "Oh, this is an easy one. Get him a T-ball with a string, so he can hit the ball as hard as he wants and it will always come back. As for catching and throwing, get him a pitching net. He can throw and catch for hours, all on his own."
And so I will. Because I am up for an easy fix for any one of these sneak attacks.
And because my boy wants to play ball.