So Monday night I was out at the Westbury Little League field serving as a volunteer dad. The deal is this: I go over and umpire a baseball game for other teams when the Brother isn't playing. The dads from the other teams take a turn umping when the Brother's team is playing.
It's a pretty good system, but I have come to appreciate how hard it is to make a close call in any sport as an official. It's hard because occasionally you have to make a tough call.
I'm impressed by these little leaguers. They really do look like big-time ball players. They wear their cleats, their bright socks at the bottom of those short legged white baseball pants, and their jerseys tucked in just so. Pay attention to the part about the pants being "white," ok?
So there I am, standing on that infield/outfield margin about halfway between first and second base. The coach is yelling at a kid in right field about something, "Pay attention! Get your head in the game."
I turned around to see what the coach was yelling about and the kid was bent over picking clover and throwing it in the air. Dangerously, he was also facing away from the action. He bent over again, oblivious to the crowd now chuckling at him.
That's when I saw it.
Through his white pants it was easy to see that he is a fan of Spiderman. We know this because we could all see Spiderman Underoos shining through those white pants.
Underoo's and cleats.
Little boy trying to be a big man.
Tugged by time in two directions.
"Get your head in the game," the grown up is yelling, telling him to pay attention, be responsible, get on the ball, grow up, be mature.
"Let's play just a little longer," his Underoo's beckon, read comics, toss some clover, roll some matchbox cars on the floor, have a tickle fight, tease your sister.
Now that's a tough call says the man who wants to play just a little longer.