Older brother was going to baseball.  Dad picked him up from school and drove him straight to the field.  I had to drop by the school and pick up young brother.  Right on time!  Bingo, self congratulations.  We have a problem.  Young brother wants to wear his older brother’s last year’s uniform.  When he wears it he hangs out in the dugout and acts like ‘one of the team’ without actually having to do anything ‘team’.  When the game is over he runs out on the field with the team and high five’s everyone.  Without the uniform he does not have anything to do.  Nowhere to belong.  Hanging with mom and dad is not high on his priority list.  The problem is that the uniform is at home and we are driving away from home on our way to older brother’s game.


Young brother says he is cold, and he knows he is going to be even colder soon.  He can feel it.  The only solution is to go home.  Right now.  To get his coat, and the uniform.  I tell him I have his coat.  I point.  It is there, right on the set beside him.  “Oh”.


Young brother then tells me, “Mom my shirt is dirty.  Filthy.  It is covered in germs.  It is crawling with germs.  If I don’t go home to change it right now, I will get sick.  Very sick.”  I tell him to keep it out of his mouth and he will be fine.  “Oh”.


We arrive at the field, and the game has begun already.  Young brother does not need his coat, “its not cold mom”.    His brother is the ‘power batter’ of the team.  At least that is what his trophy last year stated.  Young brother just wants to be close to him and sidles up to the dugout.  He gets as close to it as he dare without a uniform.  One of the other boys has a spare uniform.  Coach nods and young brother puts it on over his dirty, filthy, crawling with germs shirt.  Phew.  That was a close almost medical emergency call.  He smiles from ear to ear and inches his way close to his brother.  Older brother makes room for him on the bench.  It is difficult to sit in the dugout for the entire game.  He skips back to the swings and climbing apparatus.  We lose sight of him.  I stand and start looking; dad is already half way around the field searching.


Young brother streaks towards us.  Horror on his face.  He is breathless.  After a moment he squawks, “This humungous dog scared me; it went like this (growl, hiss, unintelligible, growl).  It scared the lights out of me.”   Missing ‘lights’ not withstanding he sidles back to the dugout.  It turns cool, but he does NOT need his coat.  The score is 2:2.  Not that anyone keeps score.  The game is painfully slow going into the 3rd.  Young brother leaves the dugout, he comes close to me and begs to go home. 

As dad brought older brother, young brother and I are free to leave.  He hoped I would not notice, but I did. I wrestle him out of the borrowed baseball top and leave him fully exposed to his dirty, filthy, crawling with germs shirt.  He tells me not to worry as he will keep it out of his mouth.  “Oh”.