Tonawanda News

Features

May 19, 2013

CRIB NOTES: Getting back up after being knocked down

Tonawanda News — If life experiences could earn people diplomas, I’d have a Ph.D. in being the butt of jokes.

People of my size come with an extra-large target on their backs (no pun intended). So I am generally able to tell when good-natured ribbing is becoming boorish.

I know I can’t protect Penny and Rigby from such behavior forever. Sooner or later, they’re going to have to learn how to deal with people who are ... well, jerks.

But when such verbal jabs come at unexpected times — and from unexpected places — a parent still needs to do their part.

Penny and Rigby are on the same tee ball team this season. Most practices take place when I work, but I was lucky enough to catch one that was scheduled for a weekend morning.

Penny didn’t quite share in my enthusiasm. She looked a bit sluggish on the field and was having a hard time getting into the game. Honestly, she looked a bit disinterested, and no amount of encouragement from me or Mom was making a bit of difference.

I thought a turn at bat might help brighten her spirit — after all, what kid (or adult) does not like to hitthings with a bat? She took a handful of championship-worthy cuts before her final swing, after which she was to practice running to first base.

The sense of urgency to beat the throw to first base wasn’t quite there, though. She lolligagged to first wih a giant scowl. I’m pretty sure I saw a slug scurry past her.

I actually raised my voice a bit in telling her to put forth an effort. But I stopped myself mid-breath when I heard a taunt from one of the adults:

”Hurry up, sweetheart. Pretend you’re on your way to the shoe store.”

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