Aaron has never been a fan of sports, especially if he’s the one expected to participate in them. We endured a season of T-Ball on the military base in Germany. Usually you would find Aaron sitting way in the outfield in the grass, picking in it and tearing it into little pieces like he still enjoys doing. When the ball would come his way, he wouldn’t budge. It would fall in the grass and roll right past him as he sat there watching it with a very unconcerned look on his face. No matter that parents and children were yelling at him to GET THE BALL!!! One season was enough for us. And for the parents and the team.
When we moved to Wichita, we decided to take the kids to see our local baseball team play. It was a sunny, beautiful day. Perfect for baseball! Off we went to Lawrence Dumont Stadium in downtown Wichita to see the Wichita Wranglers get some home runs – hopefully. We knew that Andrew would love to see the team play and that Andrea would enjoy it, but we weren’t sure about Mr. I-Don’t-Like-Sports Aaron. We settled in on the bench and soon realized that it would take a lot of persuasion to assure Aaron that this day was FUN! Aaron didn’t like the hard bench; Aaron didn’t like the hot sun; Aaron didn’t like the baseball cap we hoped he would wear; Aaron didn’t like the dumb baseball game; and Aaron didn’t like his ridiculous parents for bringing him to such an unlikable event! We also soon realized that there was not enough hot dogs or popcorn in the whole stadium to soothe our grouchy Aaron. We put him between Gary and I so we could double team – and we tried to enjoy the day.
Just down from Gary, sitting on the same row as us, was a man who was very loudly and exuberantly getting into the game. He wasn’t drunk and he wasn’t mean, but he was just having a blast. He cheered the players and he booed the players; he yelled at the refs and he cheered the refs; he made his own calls and he agreed with other calls; he swung his arms and he stomped his feet; and he did it all with great gusto. And did I say that he was LOUD? Aaron doesn’t do loud. He had to be removed from the classroom in second grade when the class practiced Mexican music using castanets. He called our VBS director in Arizona Miss Yeller because she would yell “Yee Haw” during our western-themed Bible school.
Oh, and our neighbor down the row was not only loud – he was very big. Big neck; big arms; big hands; big all over. Big and loud! We sat there trying to assure Aaron that he was having fun, but all the while Aaron was becoming more and more agitated about the big man down the row that was yelling and laughing all the time. The Very Big Man. And before Gary and I saw it coming or could stop it – Aaron leaned across Gary and in a voice meant to match the Very Big Man, Aaron glared and yelled, “BE QUIET!!!!!!!” Gary and I instinctively jerked Aaron back at the same time and hissed at HIM to “be quiet!” I’m sure Gary’s life flashed before his eyes. I wondered how I would raise three kids alone. But the Very Big Man didn’t seem fazed by any of this. He continued having a great time, we continued calming Aaron, and I have no memory of any of the rest of that game. I do know that our list of “Things NOT to Do With Aaron” had another addition that day.