[For part 1 of this story, see Wednesday’s “Boys, Baseball, and a Venture into the Unknown.“]
Gabriel and I, having left the restroom (hands washed with both water and soap), headed to the concessions stand. I was hunting for garlic fries at the request of Bryan, the Offensive Tackle. Gabe was demanding cotton candy, which the little blond hummingbird needed like gunpowder needs a spark… and I was praying the vendors were all out of sparks!
As we stood in line (I use the term “stood” very loosely) I tried to get the 5 year old firecracker to stop jumping and twirling and flailing. We had about a half dozen “close calls” with other patrons and their recently purchased food items. You see, Gabe is the perfect height to take most people out at the knees. Combine his stature with his propensity to spin and kick and bounce, add in passing pedestrians whose sight is obstructed by the tray of hot dogs and beverages they just purchased, and… well… you can understand why my blood pressure was rising like a the cost of mobile home insurance at the start of tornado season!
Speaking of tornadoes, the blond tornado who was millimeters from disaster with every spin-kick, kept imploring me to allow him to purchase the one item he could not live without- sugary sweet joy on a paper cone- cotton candy.
I, trying to play the part of the responsible uncle and sensible adult, kept explaining to him that if he couldn’t stand still the five minutes we were waiting in line, there was no way I would let him put more sugar into his system via a purchase of cotton candy. I know some of you are laughing right now, saying “Ryan, did you seriously think you could win that little battle?” You’re right. I knew I was on a sinking ship,his mother having already given him the money which he was holding in the air as he called for the cotton candy, but I had to at least act like I was trying! I understand that telling him to “stand still” makes as much sense as telling a leopard to stop looking so “spotty” and a cheetah to “slow down,” but at least the momentary appearance of control (if even in my own mind) was helping me to feel that I had not completely surrendered the course of the evening. After all, we weren’t even to the 7th inning stretch.
Well, the “discussion” continued, with the tiny tornado continuing to wreak havoc in line and my words of “you’re not getting any cotton candy if you don’t stand still” continuing to have as much effect as sponge in the ocean. But then I heard the words that gave me hope, words that encouraged me to believe that God does indeed hear the prayers of the weak and helpless and gives grace to the humble. Read the rest of this entry »