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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Field of Dreams

It seems in the past several months that I have mentioned this charity organization a thousand times, but I'm doing it again.  Here goes:

The first step to our dream day on August 14th was a different day - the first Saturday in April.  The spring baseball season had started off with a high level of crazy since all three of the boys were playing in a local baseball tournament that day at three different fields.  We had games at 11:00 am, 12:00 pm, 2:00 pm, and 5:00 pm. The Kyle's Kamp Casino Night started at 6:30 pm.  We were going to be late.  I rinsed off the baseball dirt and put on heels and a dress.  I checked twice to be sure I had not forgotten the deodorant.  We were late, but we hustled in and grabbed a drink and I found my way to the cupcake table for the 2nd year in a row.  I ate a cupcake or three and smiled at Gavin Rupp, a child warrior, as he walked amongst the crowd and helped to auction off a baseball bat.  He was full of life and I was full of hope because of all the work being done and the funds being raised that night for Children's National Medical Center and for pediatric cancer patients.

The auction went on and at one point, I nudged my husband to raise his hand.  It didn't take much nudging.  It was called something like the Ultimate Fan Experience at the Washington Nationals Game.  We might get to see that kid, Bryce Harper, the phenom, up close and personal. 

How would I have known that by the time we found our way to "the experience" four months later, the world would have lost Gavin Rupp and that Harper, with his relentless efforts to honor that brave child, would have gained five Skinners as fans for life?

I thanked him for what he had done and he signed autographs, as did many of the other players.  We smiled goofy grins and cheered wildly and I just about did the superfreak when Bryce came up to bat.  We ate in the Diamond Club.  I might have eaten a few cookies or six.  As usual, the game of baseball is never easy, so we had to hold our breath and stand as the San Francisco Giants had the winning run on base with 2 outs.  But then some kid in the outfield named Span made a sick diving-rolling-on-the-ground-oh-my-good-Lord-does-he-have-the-ball catch to end the game with a 6-5 victory for your hometown Nationals.  Superfreak ensued, yet again, by all members of the family.

My littlest man said it best.  As we drove home well after 11:00 pm, his voice heavy with sleep and his eyes closing quickly, Drew mumbled,

"Daddy, I wish there was a way that you could just start a whole day over again.  'Cause that's what I would do.  I'd start this day all over again"

Me, too, buddy, me, too.

I feel certain that Casino Night will happen again in 2014.  Meet me at the cupcake table?

Go Nats.


 Above:  Just about the time I started the Superfreak, but tried to remain calm
 Signing Kyle's ball and Drew's program (with MY pen, just sayin')
Up to bat:  Superfreak continues 

Above:  Jayson Werth

Above:  The Bonding of the Redheads - Chad Tracy gave Drew a High Five 
Above:  Oh, yes, there was still a game!

Sweet Dreams

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