The only thing that compares to having all four of our grandchildren together at one time is having them visit individually. This past year Mary Lou and I have been blessed to have that one-on-one time with each of our grands – Henry, Laura, Will and Andrew.
This past weekend I traveled to Dothan to watch Will’s last regular season baseball game. He has primarily played pitcher and catcher. He made the All-Star team and will enjoy several more weeks of one of his favorite sports. The next day, Will came back to Auburn with me to watch the last home series of the year for Auburn’s baseball team versus Missouri.
We made it back into town just minutes before Friday evening’s second game of a double header. In addition to introducing all the graduating Seniors on the team, Auburn’s Eagle flew before the game for only the second time in history. It was a majestic flight as he flew down the first and third baselines and around the field. It was something to see.
Auburn led the entire game and swept the doubleheader, their sixth and seventh SEC win in a row. We stayed after the game and Will got autographs from several of the players. The double win had everyone in a great mood, and no one seemed to be in a hurry to leave the park.
We got home to watch some softball games, including Auburn’s softball team which was playing in the regional tournament at Clemson. When nothing live was on the television, we watched the reruns and sports programs.
Saturday found us at Chappy’s for breakfast, Taco Mama’s for lunch and Mellow Mushroom for dinner, followed by a massive shake at The Yard Milkshake Bar. It was the first time I have ever paid more than $20 for a milkshake, but it was something else. All three of us shared Will’s shake so I guess it was not that pricey when it filled up three people.
Of course, the main event Saturday was another game at Plainsman Park. The Tigers pulled another one out, one of 14 come from behind victories this year. Auburn’s team is on fire at just the right time this year. Hopefully, we will find ourselves watching the regional tournament here in Auburn.
Saturday night, we enjoyed more softball and baseball on television. Will knows more baseball trivia and statistics than most grown men, which is amazing since he is only nine years old. He is a pleasure to be around at a game and understands the nuances of the game. I loved baseball when I was Will’s age, just as much as he does.
Sunday, Will ate five pancakes and some bacon before we headed to church. There is something special about being in church with your grandchildren, especially your own church.
After another meal, this time at Niffer’s, Will and I headed to Birmingham to watch the championship game of a basketball tournament that Will’s sister, Laura, was playing in. She is on a basketball travel team that keeps her extremely busy. Will was shooting baskets with a buddy every time there was a time out.
As our grandchildren age, their visits evolve. They are all polite, respectful, helpful, and seem to enjoy our company. At this point in our life, it just does not get any better than this.
In one weekend, there was not a single program on our television that did not involve baseball, softball, or some other sports program. We ate every few hours at all Will’s favorite places. When we parted ways, I felt five pounds heavier, but my heart was full. The only words I can think of to describe this weekend was “Play ball”.
Dan Ponder can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org