That summer night was different from most. Instead of playing SPUD in the cul-de-sac, I was sitting on a blanket next to my mom behind the backstop at Washington-Lee High School. My mother didn’t leave her chores easily then. She rarely stopped working. I don’t remember her coming outside much, so this was an occasion.
I played on the blanket the way 5-year olds did back then. Grass and clover could become playthings. You just played with whatever was there. My mother, wearing her nice cotton house dress, sat like a lady on the blanket with her legs tucked neatly to the side.
We sat up straighter when my brother approached the plate. He took a moment to walk to the backstop and said, “This one’s for you, Mom.” I think my mother stopped breathing. The next thing I knew there was the crack of wood bat on ball, and he was running. I jumped up and started yelling, actually knowing very little of the game that took my brother out every night of the week that summer.
My mother still sat with gleaming eyes and a look on her face reserved for David. He was her boy. To me, he was legendary.