My Beloved Big A is becoming quite a writer, mashaAllah. We bought her this wonderful little word processor, that she now has been using to write with called the AlphaSmart 3000. The reviews on Amazon from other writers raved about this light and non-distracting (no internet) device.
"Come on Big A " said my dad, "hit the glove." I released a breath, did my wind, and watched the ball lamely lob through the air. It was way over his head and he had to race back to fetch it. Again. . . I sighed. If I was to be pitching this season, it did not look to bright.
"It's alright, you just need to find your motion." He came up next to me, gripping the softball. "Find the C and grab onto it. Spread your fingers, like this." I examined where his fingers laid on the seams. Taking the ball from him, I mimicked what I saw.
"Good. Now drop your hands back, don't bring the glove up so high when you start. Drag your feet, it adds power, and release at your waist. And stand tall. Be proud of your height." He winked, jogging backwards.
I bit my lip and replayed what I saw and remembered what he said. I released. The neon yellow ball hit the ground before it reached my dad's zebra colored glove. "Try again. More power." I did what he said, and was rewarded with a satisfying pop.
My mother clapped in the background. "Nice pitch!"
However, dad pushed me farther. "You're on point with the aim, but add more speed."
Scrunching up my eyebrows, I wanted to say, "You're trying to break my arm off before the season starts?" But, I held my tongue.
I did exactly what I did last time, just whipping my arms around faster, driving into it. The softball hit the glove like a stinging hornet. I was surprised, but I kept on throwing the same way. Every time it was either near or in the strike zone. Finally my dad nodded his A's cap bobbing up and down.
"You keep pitching like that and no one will get a hit off of you."
"We'll see about that," I muttered doubtfully. Oh, I'd see.
Breathe in. Breathe out. My softball played nervously with my leg as I watched the next batter step through the fence. Perfect, just perfect.
It was the championship, last game of the season, and we were up against the black team: who remained undefeated throughout the season, but lost on a forfeit during the playoffs. Nonetheless, they were a really good team and were known as "The Establishment." The season had whizzed by like the scenery on a highway. Currently, it was the the last inning and we were up seven to six. We'd been swinging bats and running bases, and God had been Merciful. Bases were loaded, two outs. The black team needed two scores to go home with the trophies, or we would get this last out and the trophies would be ours. But the fast pitcher for the black team was up to bat. She could hit, and our outfield is not what you'd call professionally set up. I doubt anyone didn't have the least bit of anxiety. A cliff-hanger game if you ask me.
The person batting did not help.
"Scoot back," yelled my coach.
I closed my eyes and circled the mound.
"You can do this, Big A," said our star shortstop. "Think of pizza with your favorite toppings."
I smiled. Leave it to her to say random things. I turned back towards our catcher. She was ready. The umpire was ready. The batter was ready. And God-Willing, I was ready.
Pitch one. Ball on the ground. Pitch two, low outside, another ball. Pitch three went way over the batter's head. Three balls. A walk wouldn't be pretty right now. She stood there, a smile painted across her face. Walk me, it seemed to say.
"Only if it's good," said their third base coach, "really good."
"Slow it down. Just throw a strike. Your pitch, your pitch," said my Coach. I half ignored him, when I slow it down, it's worse.
My dad took his place on the other side of the fence directly behind the catcher. In his eyes something showed. Hope. My dad had hope in me. I recounted every detail of that day before the season where he taught me how to throw amazing pitches. I hadn't been practicing. Should I try it now? It was worth a try.
Clearing my mind, I found the seam and let my body do it's work. The batter didn't move.
"Strike," said the umpire. "One - Three."
I waited until he crouched back down and then I repeated the motion. She swung and the ball went straight back.
"Strike two! Full count."
"Come on baby, last strike," said a voice sounding like mom.
"Your pitch." That voice would be my Coach.
"Oh God, Please God," I whispered. A strike out would be beautiful.
Blocking out all the commotion, I focused on the catcher's glove. That was my target. Rocking my arms, winding around, dragging my foot over the dirt, I drifted off the rubber executing my pitch. Then I waited. The ball was caught in the catcher's glove: low and slightly outside. I waited. The umpire took his time, looking down at the ball. More waiting.
". . . Strike 3, and that's the game!"
Suddenly I was surrounded by thousands of claps. "Woo hoo, red team," people screamed! We lined up and did our usual "good game" high fives to the opposing team. The black team was not happy about losing.
My dad gathered me up in his arms. "Excellent pitching sweetie."
"I'm glad," I told him smiling. "I'm glad I have such a great dad."
THE ENDBig A had us all sign the card containing her short story and we gave it to Humble Dad during our Father's Day Hike. He read it to us outloud upon the most beautiful view in this state and my favorite place in Maryland to be: Rocks State Park.
We never did a hike for Father's Day before, but we are thinking about making this a Family Tradition. After the hike we went to the Jarrettsville Creamery, they make their ice cream and waffle cones fresh in the shop and it tasted so good!
I also did something creative for Humble Dad in my own style. A Daddy's Day Video... I had more fun going through our old Flip videos, so many wonderful vids shot by my Beloved children. Although, like the AlphaSmart 3000 they are no longer making the Flip Video Camera , you can find new, used and refurbished ones on Amazon. The only thing keeping me from purchasing a used (cheaper) one is the fact we have broken 3 Flips already. We truly loved them to death. However, Eid will be here soon and my Beloveds are older . . .
Happy Daddy's Day to all you wonderful dads out there.
This is dedicated to my one and only Humble Dad. ♥
Note on the video:
The Happy Video that different Muslim groups have produced came with a stream of controversy. I tried hard to stay out of it. I value balance, fairness, respect, wisdom, and leadership, and the Happy Controversy lacked many of my values. I can say I do not condone a 24 hour party of "happy" people. . . nor do I believe dancing in the street equates to true happiness.
Happiness comes through submission. It comes when you are fulfilling God's Purpose how great or small it may be. This is why many people may get up and do a happy dance after accomplishing something wonderful, like getting married, or acing a test, or seeing their child learn to ride a bike. Happiness was the natural result of seeing the fruits of their labor, happiness was not the goal.. . and our pursuit is not for happiness, but for God's Pleasure.