“THAT” Kid

FADE IN:

EXT. TEE BALL FIELD PARKING LOT NOON

A MOM and her five-year-old KID climb out of an XL SUV.  He is dressed in used baseball gear and holding a water bottle.  She is carrying his equipment.  They hold hands as they walk toward the field.

MOM

We are a few minutes early.

KID

(not really listening to MOM)

Am I gonna get to run the bases?

EXT. TEE BALL FIELD DUGOUT

The KID drops his water bottle in the red Georgia clay.  The MOM picks it up and places it on the bench.  She makes a quiet groaning noise as she stands back up.

MOM

You might.  Depends on what the coach wants to do.  Are you excited to meet him?

KID

(starts to act shy and grabs the MOM’s pant leg)

Other parents (mostly DADS) and PLAYERS, also dressed in mismatched t-shirts, baseball caps, and cleats begin to arrive at the field.  The DADS are making small-talk and greeting one another.  The PLAYERS are all hanging back, sticking close to their parent(s).

EXT. TEE BALL FIELD PITCHERS MOUND

COACH

(loudly, with a commanding, yet friendly, voice)

OK, players, welcome to tee ball!  Why don’t you grab your gloves and come join me here on the field!

The DADS and PLAYERS follow his instructions.  Everyone goes around in a circle and introduces themselves and their PLAYER to the COACH.  They all shake hands.  The last people to meet the coach are the MOM and her KID.  The KID is obviously getting more and more anxious.

COACH

And who do we have here?

MOM

(extending a hand to shake)

I am Stacy and this is Kid E.  We are excited for tee ball.  Thanks for being the coach.

KID

(Not moving out from behind his MOM’S leg)

MOM

(to the KID)

Say hello to the COACH and shake his hand.

KID

(releasing the death-grip from his MOM’S leg, he reluctantly and timidly extends his right hand)

Hi.

MOM

(to the COACH)

It seems he is a little nervous about the first practice.  I’m sorry about that.  He’ll be fine once they get to playing.  If not, I’ll do some cartwheels to make him laugh.

COACH

(giggling)

Nothing to worry about!  And I’m glad to meet you… I knew you’d be a fun one when I saw your upside-down picture on Google.  I linked in to everyone on the team.

(to the KID and the other PLAYERS)

We are going to have some fun here on the tee ball field!  Now let’s divide into squads and start some drills!

The KID is once again attached to MOM’S leg.  He has now started to shake.  Tears are falling down his chubby cheeks and he begins to make a wailing noise that brings to mind torture or wild animals.  They make their way off of the field.  MOM quickly realizes the direction this is heading and squats down to eye level with the KID.

EXT. TEE BALL FIELD DUGOUT

MOM

What’s the matter, baby?  Why are you getting upset?  This is supposed to be fun.  Please don’t cry.

KID

(between body-wracking sobs)

I am trying not to.

MOM

(sarcastically)

You are not doing a very good job.

(clearly frustrated, but trying to remain calm and cool)

I don’t want you to be sad.  Take a drink of water and calm down.  Let’s just go out on the field and join the rest of your team.  Please.  I’d really like you to stop crying.  Please.

KID

(gesturing all around the field)

I don’t know about this.

MOM

(loving but firm)

Well, I do.  You asked to play baseball, so I signed you up for baseball.  This is not torture.  This is not dangerous.  This is supposed to be fun.  Great American Pastime fun.  Now let’s go and play.

EXT. TEE BALL FIELD OUTFIELD

The KID looks unsure, but the MOM and her KID walk slowly onto the field.  Practice has already begun.  The COACH is teaching one squad how to field ground balls.  The ASSISTANT COACH is teaching the other squad how to throw.  They are clearly having fun.  The COACH and ASSISTANT COACH are upbeat and encouraging.

COACH

(to the KID)

Hey, Kid E!  Let’s see if you can field a ground ball.  Can you show me “ready position?”

(COACH crouches down into “ready position”)

The KID starts to cry even louder.  The death grip intensifies.  MOM extracts herself and looks the KID in the eyes.

MOM

I can not make you stop crying, but I can help these other players practice “ready position.”  We came here to practice baseball and that’s what I’m going to do.

(to MICHAEL, one of the PLAYERS)

Michael, can you show me “ready position?”  Here comes the ball.  Keep your eye on it!

The MOM continues to have a catch with other PLAYERS.  She doesn’t even have a glove, but no matter.  It is getting hotter and she starts to sweat.  The KID keeps on crying.  The moaning noise waxes and wanes.  He does not leave his MOM’S side.  He almost gets hit with the ball several times, but she just works around it.  After several minutes, the COACH calls for a water break.  The PLAYERS disperse.

EXT. TEE BALL FIELD DUGOUT

MOM

(hanging on to her last threads of patience)

Here… take another drink of water.  And please, for the love of all things holy, stop making that noise.  I am hungover and tired and your father should be here right now but he is erecting a deer stand with Paul in the woods somewhere.  I did not force you to play baseball this season, but I will absolutely make you finish out this practice – tears or no tears – because you made a choice.  This is what you committed to do, and you are going to suck it up and do it.  Do you understand me?

The KID suddenly stops crying.  He wipes the snot from his face.

KID

(with the face of an angel)

I’m sorry, Mommy.  I’m ready to play now.

MOM

(sighing)

That’s my good boy.

The MOM takes a drink from the KID’S water bottle and checks her phone for text messages.

FADE OUT.

photo

OMG, this is going to be the longest tee ball season ever.

Wish me luck for tomorrow…

One response to ““THAT” Kid

  1. This brings back so many “sweet” memories of M&C… Yesterday we saw a girl screaming, tossing and turning on the ground in Costco. M asked me if I missed all those good times – NO, I felt the pain of that mom, though many times I would walk to the parents, only if she/he could still hear anything from a by-passer, that I had worse situations and it would sure pass (and showing them my “sweet” smiling girl and boy.)

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