For once I knew where I was going. I just wasn't sure I was going to get there.
About halfway to the school where Eric's softball team was playing its final game tonight, I looked at the dashboard clock. The digits were moving faster than my Saturn was. I had to sit through the traffic light cycle at one intersection three times before I got across. This is why I don't commute any more. The car's cooling system did a lot better than mine did.
It's never as bad as it seems when you're crawling through stop-and-go traffic, though. At least, it hasn't been that bad for me since I gave up my Warriors season tickets, a few years before the earthquake knocked the freeway down. I traveled that freeway at a snail's pace 41 times a year. If they'd ever made the playoffs, it would have been even more.
Wait a minute, where was I? Driving to Eric's game. Even after I got to the school with several minutes to spare, I wasn't sure I'd made it. The game wasn't at same field where I'd watched him play in the past, so I wandered around behind the backstops until I saw him warming up in the infield. I planted myself near the bleachers, and he came by to confirm that I was indeed in the right place.
Before long, who should wander into the bleachers but the rest of the family! It was back-to-school night for D.J., so he and Tammy and David could only stay for a little while. D.J. was maybe a little wound up, but it was funny to listen to him chattering away with totally inappropriate comments. "I can't believe it!" he'd yell, for no apparent reason. Once we channel that enthusiasm, we're going to have a real ball fan.
Strangely, it got much quieter after D.J. left, but they left Dakota behind with us to keep us entertained. He sat in his stroller wedged between bleacher rows for over an hour, never fussing and never losing that radiant smile. He loves to clap and cheer, and it's hard not to be caught up in his cheerful spirit. He did a lot of talking, but it's not always easy to figure out what he's trying to say. He doesn't seem to care, though, and every so often he'd say "Strike!" quite clearly. He doesn't mind a bit if you laugh at him, either.
It was a pleasant way to spend part of my evening, and I'm glad Eric asked me to go and see him play ball. I'd been feeling out of sorts all day, but it was highly therapeutic to be out in the fresh air with the family. It'll make it easier to face another day of spreadsheets and other minor nuisances.