SPEEDY PETEY, A SCUFFED AND BATTERED BASEBALL, AND A MISSED OPPORTUNITY* Back

opportunities: we've all lost them

they've sneaked and slithered past our lives from time-to-time

plans for my first circus trip

were stranded due to skin eruptions seeded by chicken pox

detention tossed at me by Penguin-like teachers

barred me from my first baseball playoff

I'm still lamenting a missed flight for a Final Four game

because I read my airline ticket as 1:00 p.m. instead of 11:00 a.m.

opportunity finds those already seated stage-side

 

So it was yesterday ... I selected a swim in my Cocoon pool

rather than watching my grandboys play baseball.

Both my little buddies also hoopsters anyway I thought,

not distant descendants of DiMaggio.

Just two rainy seasons past, the then 10 year-old Speedy Petey

struggled to even foul tip the spheroid,

and he prepared his hitting lumber for retirement.

Then, step-by-step, day-by-day, his swing became

seamless and smooth as it blossomed.

Lately, he'd actually batted the baseball

against the outfield fence several times.

I saw scuffs on the baseballs he battered,

yet his flies still failed to scale the ballyard's wall.

Therefore, selfish Big Bop found it easy to skip yesterday's practice.

While I was drying pool splash,

Speedy Petey hurdled the porch railing and handed me a baseball.

He said, "It's for you Bop. I blasted it over the fence today!"

Little bro Brock, with a wide-eyed look of amazement and raised brow said,

"Way, way over!"

I'd seen many near misses, but missed the real deal homer

because of my need to splash.

A clichéd message pirouetted across my mind,

"opportunities are like gorgeous sunsets,

shut your eyes for a second and you've missed that splendor forever."

I hugged my buddy, wiped the back of my hand across my eyes,

handed him a pen and said, "Autograph, Petey."

I carefully handled and positioned the sacrosanct ball

as gently as a religious icon made of Waterford Crystal

in a place of honor on my trophy case.