Westward Movement

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Baseball and bat

I shared this story with my friend, and she told me I must post it. So here you are:

T, a frequent guest of my blog, has quite a story to tell. Her dad left T and her mom a few years ago, and T's mom has done her very best to provide for T. In my opinion, she's done incredibly well, as T is a marvelous human being. Last year was a tough one for both of them. T's mom lost her job and went back to school for a specialized certificate. She relied on T's aunt for weekend care as her program went from Friday through Sunday. Every Friday, T's mom picked her up one-two hours early to drive T to meet her aunt. T and her aunt then took a four hour journey by city bus to the aunt's home in the valley. Sunday night, T's mom picked her up to go back home. This went on for nearly the full year.

Several weeks in, T walked in one Friday morning. She hugs me every day, and on this day, her hug felt different. A little desperate. I asked her what was going on. Nutshell version, T was nervous about going to her aunt's. She didn't like it. Why? Her 18 year old cousin bothered her. Hairs up on my arms. How does he bother you? He calls me really mean names. Such as? At this, T broke down. She was so afraid to say anything because not staying the weekend at her aunt's meant her mom would have to drop out of school. They were close to being evicted. So much on nine-year-old shoulders.

T told me about her cousin. I spoke with her mom that afternoon. She immediately reassured T that her daughter's safety and happiness came first. Things changed right away for the better. The sour piece is that T's mom's school lost its license, and her schooling holds no merit.

Where's the baseball, Stern? What about the bat?

Earlier this year, T and I were chatting after school. Out of nowhere, T says, "You really went to baseball for me, Ms. Stern." I looked at her, confused. "Baseball?" "Yeah, you know, you really went to baseball when I had to stay with my aunt and my cousin last year." Ohhhhh ... "You mean, to bat." Ohhhhh ... "I mean, to bat!" We both smiled. And I got two hugs that day.

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