A Profound Game of Wiffle Ball

Aleisha and Julia are at Girl Scout camp this weekend, and I only came home today at 3:30 p.m. following my stint chaperoning the 30-Hour Famine at Holy Spirit. My mom came to watch Delton while we were both away, and I’m grateful that he had that one-on-one time with her, a feeling that seemed to be shared by the two of them.

When we got home from supper at Hoss’s with mom, we watched Paranorman through Netflix on my laptop (I left the Wii at church!). When that was over at 8 p.m., there was still enough light outside that Delton ran to the front door looking for someone to play with. Finding no one, he came back in and asked if I wanted to play Wiffle ball with him. I said no, citing his need for a bath and the fact that it was 8 already. He asked again, this time with a tinge of pleading in his voice.

Realizing that a) it is rarely just the two of us at home for a weekend, b) I spent most of that time not with him, c) it isn’t a school night and d) I want to do all I can to encourage him to be active, I relented and we headed for the back yard with Chloe.

In between my feeble pitching and his improving swings, Delton said something that made me pause: “I’m pretty sure that you’re not going to die any time soon.” Hearing this made me realize for the first time that Delton might be imagining something I myself—indeed, most of us—have occasionally wondered: what would happen if I weren’t here?

From the experience of losing my own father at a young age, I know that my family would be OK in the event of my passing, and death is not something to be feared. But Delton’s words tonight reminded me that he naturally has a different perspective, one that reminds me to cherish our time together as a family.

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