|Austin | Aug '80|
It was the minors so I must've been around eleven or twelve. Took a hard grounder to the mouth at second and it laid me out flat. Right after it happened my mom pulled up and saw the coaches hovering over some poor kid sprawled on the dirt. She asked, "what happened and who is that?" Someone said, "Ground ball. I think it split his lip. And 'that' is yours."
"........ well," she said, "did he make the play?"
Mom worked harder than anyone I know but she never missed a game. My biggest fan even though my God-given yet limited talents would take me only a couple more years into organized sports. Then there were girls and stolen cigarettes and basement beers to distract me from the otherwise motherly-approved pursuits. I didn't know it at the time but those distractions likely kept her awake more nights than not.
Always made curfew but I used to sneak out to go write the next chapter in the tales of my misspent youth. Sneaking back in I'd put the Jeep in neutral and coast into the driveway, sleuthing around the side of the yard smug as a skunk and safely into bed.
In college I'd sporadically come clean, ultimately of most of it, over long
inquisitions dinners, and with each reveal mom would waste no time in abusing me of the notion that these victimless indiscretions were news to her. Then with big eyes, menacingly... "Mother's know all."
Thanks for the lessons.