As I’ve mentioned before, for many, many years, Daveon played Little League in the spring. For a few of those years, the field was behind a junior high school, directly across the street from a higher-end grocery store. This was great for in-game snacking. My particular favorite was a chocolate peanut butter cookie roughly the size of a softball. (For you non-LL parents: Each level of little league has a different-sized field, so every few years we had to switch to new ones. The ones that were out in the middle of nowhere were much less snacking-friendly.)
Anyway: On one particular day, I went across the street mid-game as usual. One needs to fortify oneself for all those foul tips. I’m pretty sure I wasn’t getting a cookie this time—maybe a sparkling water? That sounds much healthier.
So I’m looking at my water options, and I hear a voice behind me that’s vaguely familiar. I turn around, and lo and behold: It’s the boys’ county social worker extraordinaire, Amy. Amy is one of my favorite people, not least because every time I see her she tells me how we are one of her favorite families. It was Amy who more or less made it possible that the boys moved in less than two months after I first saw their picture. Amy gets a high pedestal in my hall of fame.
After we chatted a bit to catch up, I told Amy that Daveon was playing baseball across the street, and Mark was somewhere nearby in the park. If she had the time, she should come over and say hi. She did, so we checked out together and walked over.
After we crossed the street and approached the dugout, Amy gave a big shout “Hello!” and walked straight into the arms of … another player on Daveon’s team. It turns out that he had also been a foster kid, and Amy had also been his (I am sure amazing) county social worker. As these things happen, the couple who adopted him were among my favorite fellow baseball parents.
After Amy caught up with this kid and his folks, she turned, let out another “Well, hello!”, and approached … one of the other team parents, who it turns out is her boss at the county. No hug this time.
Finally, in the third-place spot, my kids got their turn on Amy’s dance card. Of course, last did not mean least in terms of her excitement and warmth. If my kids ever have a low self-esteem day, a chat with Amy would be the guaranteed cure.
For those keeping score at home (get it? score? baseball?), on a team of 12 players, three had “no degree of separation” connections to Amy. That’s better than most of the kids’ batting averages.
So while it was a wonderful experience to reconnect to someone who was so instrumental in bringing us together, and who has always been a vocal supporter, it was maybe even more amazing to see how interconnected our story is with the lives and stories of others, and that while we are surely an “alterna”-family in many ways, our experience isn’t so different after all.
Next: Movie Night