Living Life

JR came running downstairs hoping his father was in a good mood after his long day of teaching. JR was nervous about asking his father anything, but he really wanted to play with the other kids. When he asked his mother, she told him to ask his father. Sometimes he had to fight harder with her to get what he wanted. She was a little over protective at time, and it annoyed JR, because he thought he could do what the other kids can do.

“How was your day, kids?” Frank said, as he scooped a spoonful of mash potato’s onto his plate.

“I learned how to spell my name, daddy,” JR’s younger brother said. “P e t e r, T u c k e r.”

“That’s great sweetie,” Debbie said. She pointed toward his plate with her fork, “Now eat your peas.”

JR looked at his mom, “Go ahead,” Debbie said. “Tell your dad what you told me.”

JR looked at his father and said, “I want to play baseball. Sign ups are on Saturday?”

Debbie looked from JR to Frank, and said, “I told him I thought it would be too dangerous.”

“No more dangerous than it is for anyone else,” Frank said, just before he shoved the last of his meet into his mouth.

“But dad,” Peter turned his head to look at his dad, “he can’t even walk.”

JR looked at Peter and narrowed his eyes, “Can too. I just walk funny.”

“You can’t run to first,” Peter grinned and bobbed his head from side to side.

JR put his fork on his plate indicating he was finished, looked between his dad and mom and said, “If I hit it over the infield I’ll make it to first. Hardly any running at all.”

Debbie stood up and began to clear the table, “Kids, go upstairs and do your homework. Your dad and I have to talk about this.”

Both kids stood up. Peter raced upstairs while making clicking noises with his mouth. JR opened the fridge and got a candy bar he had bought at school.

JR looked at his mom and said, “I want to play with a real ball. I’m tired of pretending on the sidewalk. Everyone stairs at me.”

“Think of it as a form of flattery. They’re all fascinated by you,” Debbie said, filling the sink with water.

JR put his hands on his hips, “It makes me feel like I do when I walk for the doctors, like I should have a hat and cane.”

Debbie held in a chuckle, “Go up and do you homework while your dad and I talk about this.”

JR walked up the steps, stomping harder with each step. “Great,” he muttered, “by the time they talk about it the season will be over.”

“It is comments like that that will not help your argument,” Frank yelled toward the steps.

**********************************************************************************************

Frank was always proud, and amazed at his son for the things he did with the limited ability JR had. JR always had gumption to try something new without fear. Frank really admired that more so than the pride he felt.

Debbie sat at the table after washing the dishes “Should we let him play?”

Frank looked up from the newspaper, “Why shouldn’t he play? He’s out there every day pretending to play.”

Debbie lowered her eyebrows, “Cause Frank, pretend baseballs don’t hurt when it hits him in the head.”

“Aren’t you over reacting just a little?” Frank closed the paper, “He just wants to play with the other kids.”

“This is about his mind set too,” she tapped the tip of her finger on the table. “What if he plays and can’t do it? That might be too hard for him to take.”

“Honey,” he smiled. “I the JR knows what he can and can’t do. I think we should let him do this. If he’s good or not, I don’t think, really matters to him.

“Okay,” she waved her finger at him. “But if something goes wrong I’m blaming you.”

Frank shrugged his shoulders, “I’m used to it.

Frank called JR down with excitement in his voice. With a wide smile he told his son. JR jump into his dad’s arms with excitement, hugging him tightly. After hugging his mother, JR ran upstairs singing Take Me Out To The Ball Game.

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