Backyard Baseball Field
The winds of summer are blowing in.
Afternoons bleed into evening as our entire family gathers in the backyard each day after school. Backpacks are tossed into the laundry room to be dealt with later. For now, in the bearable humidity and temperatures, our time is best spent outdoors together.
And while I love our family wiffle ball games, it’s destroying my backyard. There’s a large circle of dirt where a frisbee represents home plate (I’ve included a picture of this spot not only to my utter embarrassment that - yes! this is my backyard! - but to prove that I am not exaggerating). First base is the trampoline, second is the other dirt circle by the fence, and third base is somewhere along the line of concrete where the patio meets earth.
Every once in awhile one of my children will swing the big yellow bat hard enough to send a wiffle ball soaring over the fence into our neighbor’s backyard. When this happens, the kids peek through the slats of wood and try to locate their missing ball. Our neighbor’s backyard is an oasis. There’s a cool, sparkling blue pool with a waterfall. The patio hugs the right side of the pool and lounge chairs turn different ways based on the location of the sun. There are even faux rocks that are actually bluetooth speakers. The grass beyond the pool is green and full. In our case, the grass really is greener on the other side. And there’s more of it.
My backyard is sprinkled with dirt spots and patches of weeds. Any effort I’ve tried to put into it has gone down the drain when my five kids and one yellow lab take to playing back there, which is often.
There are days when I, too, peek through the slats at the oasis next door and wish my own backyard looked like that. But then I remember these moments are precious and time is fleeting. One day there will be no more little feet to run the makeshift bases in the backyard. One day those little boys and girls will be grown and their after-school time will be spent on different activities. And so, for now, I walk across my patio in bare feet, pop some hot dogs on the grill, and declare that bedtime has been pushed back 30 minutes due to an extended wiffle ball game.
What about you, dear reader? What memories are you making in your backyard this spring?