Awards on a wall or trophies in a case really don’t mean a whole lot in life, but the admiration of a nephew, well, now that’s something.
If I accomplish one thing in this life, it’s the "cool" auntie I want to be. I think I added another notch toward that goal Thursday night.
I left work a couple of hours early and headed to the Fairmont Buntjers to watch nephews Blake and Reece play baseball. There was a bit of a dilemma though – they both played at the same time – at opposite ends of an extra long city block.
My Godson Reece, he’s four, was already pouting before we got to the ball field, mostly because big brother Blake took the lucky batting glove, but also because he wanted his Auntie Juwee to stay and watch his entire game. In other words, Blake’s game didn’t matter.
Well, with the ball playing days winding down, and this my one Thursday night off of work, I had to make the most of it. I sat in the shade and watched Reece hit five balls off the tee during batting practice, then packed up my chair and joined Mom in a walk across the parking lot and down the street to watch Blake’s pee-wee game. Three innings later, Blake was finally up to bat. Pitch one – Blake connects and sends the ball straight above his head, and back down into the catcher’s mitt.
Blake headed back to the bench with a smile on his face, and Mom and I packed up our chairs and walked back to the T-ball game in time to see Reece knock a pitch toward a group of kids. He made it around all of the bases and, after he stomped across home plate, he made a bee-line for me with a mile-wide grin and a bouncing hard hat of a helmet.
I thought I was going to get whacked in the nose by the hard plastic, but as it turned out, Reece just wanted to give me a bear hug, a kiss and a high-five. That’s my little slugger!
A few more runs were scored by his teammates, and suddenly the game was over. Our second trip to the pee-wee field was timed perfectly with the end of that game. We missed Blake’s big hit (a single, but he made it around second, third and home plate on another kid’s hit to the outfield.)
It wasn’t watching both of the boys play baseball, however, that made me the "cool" aunt for the night.
Nope, it all came down to Wii.
I’ve never played the Wii before. My extent of video games these days are my Plug-N-Plays of Pac-Man and Centipede, favorite 1980′s Atari games that I purchased thinking they would be de-stressers from those long days at the office. It turns out, however, that those darn games stress me out even more!
Anyway, Blake started up the Wii and showed me his selection of games. Let’s see, I could go bear hunting, play a game of baseball or tennis, or … wait a minute, there’s a Wii archery game? Now that’s more like it.
When I told Blake I took a semester of archery in college, he looked at me with big eyes and asked an incredulous, "You did?"
"Of course! It was my favorite class that semester," I told him.
Let the competition begin!
It took a bit of coordination to get the wand thingamajig coordinating with the nunchuk contraption, but I didn’t do too bad. By the second game, I managed to get three bulls-eyes. Of course, that was also the game that I hit the wrong button and sent two of my arrows sailing over the target. In the end, Blake and I tied at 75 points.
After the round of archery, it was on to cycling around an island with Reece. This particular contest required me to move the nunchuk in one hand and the wand thingamajig in the other hand in furious motion, and then "steer like I’m driving a car" at the same time (Blake’s directions). Well, I finished the race, even after stopping my "bicycle" to enjoy the ocean view and a pretty lighthouse!
Next, it was on to Wii bowling with Reece. I don’t recall the final score, but I won’t soon forget the slapping high fives each time we threw a strike. By the end of 10 frames, my arm was tired and my shoulder hurt.
That’s when Blake said, "Julie, Wii is good because it can help you lose weight. It gives you a good workout."
I didn’t bother to tell him I’d walked around Lake Okabena the night before, which I consider to be better for my health than throwing my shoulder out playing Wii bowling. But hey, if playing Wii adds to my "cool" auntie points, well then, let the games continue!
The final match-up of the night pitted me against Blake in a game of baseball. I pitched a bunch of screwballs (I never did learn how to throw a fastball or a curveball because it apparently involves pushing more buttons than A and B and, well, I’m just not that coordinated!)
The pitching went OK, but the batting, well, not so much. I think I heard something pop in my shoulder.
I figure I’ll probably be feeling the pain of a pulled muscle in the morning. Then again, to have been the "cool" auntie in the eyes of my boys for a night, well, I’m pretty sure the pain will be worth it.