It was an evening that I had been looking forward to for quite awhile, although another part of me was hoping time would stand still and the evening would never arrive. But arrive it did and with great excitement, as this year Jonathan would be able to join us once again for our (9th? 10th?) annual Mother/Son Baseball Night to cheer on the Seattle Mariners.
We arrived at the Bainbridge Island ferry terminal with time to spare, paid our $11 parking fee, and made our way up the ramp to board. A beautiful, sunny afternoon with a slightly cool breeze buoyed our already-high spirits. Jairus was wearing his Mariners cap and a too-small navy shirt with forest green stripes, Aaron had his Japanese Mariner's cap and a blue shirt, Jonathan sported a white cap, and I had on my #1 Mom Mariners shirt. We were all set.
It was then, as we waited in line, that my mind began to take me back in time . . . .back to 2006 - eight years ago, standing in the very same spot with a then 13-year-old Jonathan and a 5-year-old Aaron and a 7-month-old Jairus still in the womb. I remembered the harsh, disapproving stares I received as if to say, "What do you think you're doing, being pregnant with another child when you already have two boys?!?" Where has the time gone? I've traded in my very-pregnant-body for an aging, arthritic one. My sons tower over me (most of them.) Jonathan is 21 and off to law school, Aaron is now 13, and Jairus is almost eight!
How did my boys grow up so fast? When did that happen? I joyfully savored each fleeting moment, simply watching them as we stood in line. And like Mary, I pondered these things in my heart. I willed myself not to cry, though, for that would confuse and spoil our excitement. And, as all of our children know, I do not cry pretty - the first, telltale sign is my big, red nose. And it gets worse from there.
Once we docked in downtown Seattle, we faced about a mile walk to the ballpark. Even though I had been exercising and wore my good shoes, I was apprehensive about keeping up with the guys, but I was determined to try my best. Jonathan asked, "Which way should we go, Mama?" to which I replied, "Go ahead and take the lead, Jonathan, and I'll follow along." Holding on to Jairus' hand, I expected the guys to surge ahead, looking back every now and then to make sure I was coming. But after we broke free from the crush of the crowd, Jonathan directed, "Go ahead and set the pace, Mama, and I'll be behind you." So I did. We walked up the hill, and down 1st street in the heat, block after block. It was the same route that we took eight years ago . . . and try as I might, I got tired in the very same place. "Sorry guys, is it okay if we stop for a rest here?" I inquired, taking note of each of our son's responses to this halt to their plans. Jairus sat down next to me, happy to have a chance to snuggle close. Aaron willed his strong, limber body into neutral. Jonathan took advantage of the pause to take a few photos with his cell phone.