external image Christmas%202005-June%202006%20020.jpgLearning to play baseball fit him like his light-tan glove--comfortable, easy, natural. He loved knowing the difference between "going to 2" or being "the cut-off" as a ball soared over his head behind 1st. "Beautiful, Carter!" was a bark his coach yelled that sprang onto his chest bouncing into my soul. The hours listening to coach commands lulled and lifted my spirits; June baseball at age six transported me beyond just the 1-week absence from school.

As summer peeked around my high school's halls, hot weather was her backpack and I knew the heat was coming. Teaching is strange; we lose and gain ourselves every 9 months. This summer, seeing her pending hours as unwanted homework, I dreaded greeting her in the hall. Yet sitting in a camping chair, sweet smell of grass like basil to spaghetti, watching Carter bat, my breaths took in the aroma. I realized summer had cooked up some solace.

Rounding first, he slid into second, adjusted the batting helmet, and shot Jeremy, Melissa, and me a front-toothless grin. I should have worn my track shoes and run a lap for every smile; I too could have earned Cold Stone. What I did do was capture a few swings of the bat, throws to first--digital phots sent to grandparents not able to be there. An hour turned to two truly felt like twenty minutes and vanished a school year of to-do lists, grading mountains, and seemingly endless meetings.

"Mom! Mom!" I blink out of tranquility. "Bo wants to be just like me," Carter says with a shoulder swagger I've never seen. Conjure back the to-do list and add: work on a little humility.