My Friend Conner
I almost giggled outloud when he demanded that I give him a drink of my orange Gatorade.
"Not today," I replied, and I took another sip.
"Why not," he asked?
"Because it's mine, I snapped back, and then took another drink.
As he stood on-deck waiting his turn to bat during the 9 and 10-year-old all-star team's baseball practice, I watched him watch me take drink after drink after drink. I was doing it on purpose. He was thirsty. His eyes were pleading for me to help him.
He said, "You run the radio station, don't you?"
"Yes!" I replied.
He snarled at me and said "I never listen and never will!"
I said, "I'm not going to watch you bat, either!"
He was speechless and turned to look toward the playing field, as if I had hurt his feelings. He did not speak.
Finally, I broke the silence by asking him if he wanted a Gatorade.
"Yes.....no, yes, no.......yes," he said.
I reached inside the cooler, grabbed the Gatorade and tossed it over the fence to him. He said he could catch it, but it ony fell to the ground.
He reached down and picked it up. Wiping away the dirt, he said, "Was this your last one?"
I lied and said no.
He took a drink and then walked toward the batters box.
As I watched him bat, my mind went back to last summer when I emceed the girls district softball tournament. Conner sat beside me, watching his 'older-than-him' girlfriend play. I discovered that if I bought him something too, he would go to the concession stand for me anytime I asked. It was a pretty good arrangement. Just as his girlfriend's game ended, he leaped to his feet and shouted, "I'm outta here!" I said, "Where ya going?" Slapping me on the shoulder like I should already know the answer, he said, "Duh, I'm going to my girlfriend's house to go swimming!"
"She's a lot older than you," I suggested.
"I'm a chick magnet," he replied.