My son, Reid, turned the corner Thursday night as we walked outside the Quincy Family YMCA and his eyes got wide.
“Dad, can I go run the bases?” he asked.
He had just played two games earlier in the evening at Geisler Field. We had wandered over to Tappe Field, the bigger of the two fields behind the Y, to watch a neighborhood kid play. But our car was parked near the other field. That gave him an extra chance to play.
When he asked me if he could go run, Reid reminded me of an 8-year-old DOB. I would have done the same thing. For a kid, there is nothing better than to run the bases. You don’t have a care in the world. All you’re worried about is trying to see how fast you can get from one base to the next and figuring out how dirty you can get your uniform with that slide into home plate.
“Of course you can,” I told him.
And off he went. He acted like he had just laced one into a gap and was off on a dead sprint. He zipped his way around the bases and did a belly flop into home, stirring up enough dust to cover himself in dirt. He popped up and dusted himself off with a wide smile on his face.
“Dad, let’s race,” he said to me.
Of course, I took him up on it. He’s much more athletic than I ever was — he can thank his mother’s gene pool for that — and easily beat me around the bases. Being 8 and athletic trumps being 42 and out of shape every day of the week.
I’ve never been one to subscribe to the whole “having kids helps keep you young” thing. But the older I get, the more I think that those people might be right. I think I feed off my kids’ energy.
It’s certainly fun to watch them enjoy life. Something we should all be reminded of.