Running With the Pack

I’m a softball mom–I mean wife–today, having accompanied my husband and brother-in-law to a tournament they got into on the spur of the moment. After all, when a tow truck pulls up in front of your house, lights flashing, and it turns out it’s your neighbor stopping by after work to invite you to play softball all day starting bright and early in the morning, how can you refuse? Well, if you’re my husband, you can’t.

So here I am, having made a run to Target, Barnes & Noble, and a local bakery for a yummy pesto veggie sandwich, now sitting in the grass watching a bunch of guys in their 20s, 30s, and–at least in Brad and Scott’s case–40s, happily running and playing, chasing balls, and yes, even barking in a way, like a bunch of dogs.

I love dogs. Dogs and men, in my observation, have a lot in common. Therefore I love men, especially when they’re playing ball.

What originally prompted me to express this affection was my amazement, yet again, at how incredibly far a man can throw a ball. As a woman, and a decidedly nonathletic one at that, I am constantly in awe of the upper body strength of even those men whose idea of exercise is flipping channels in between 12-ounce curls.

Then, after a few more minutes of watching these guys bounding around and listening to their banter, good-natured smack-talk, and frequent whoops and hollers just for the hell of it, I was reminded of the similar, pure joy exhibited by my dogs when they chase each other around the back yard, occasionally mowing one another over in happy, playful competition. If the doggies don’t get to do this on a frequent basis, they aren’t quite themselves and there’s less of a spark in their eyes.

It’s the same with men. They need to play. They need that pure recreation where they’re trading insults and generally feeling all full of themselves, enjoying camaraderie and competition, in whatever form that may take.

I get sick and tired sometimes of Brad’s time being taken up by endless ball games, poker games, bowling, etc., but why would I want to make him stop when it makes his eyes so bright and his coat so shiny?


One thought on “Running With the Pack

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