Friday, October 1, 2010

Are You Ready for Some Kai Ball?

The turning of the calendar reminds me that we are entering that special time of year – prime sports season!  When I was single, October was one of my favorite months.  My two favorite sports are in high gear.  Baseball season comes to an exciting finish with the playoffs and World Series while football is ramping up into mid-season.  As an avid sports fan, you can’t do better than that.

As a father though, I haven’t had time to watch many games.  My attempts to interest my son in sports have been met with only limited success.  In fact, the most success I had actually happened by chance. 

In June, while Kai was getting probes attached to his head for his 48-hour EEG, we turned on the television to keep him distracted.  A baseball game was on.  Although he previously had not shown much interest, this game caught his attention when it went into extra innings.  With his love of numbers, the discovery that a game could go to two-digits was positively thrilling for Kai.  It took quite a long time for the technician to attach all the probes and I was concerned that the game would end and so would Kai’s patience with the getting the probes put on.  But, we were lucky that the game lasted long enough for the technician to finish up.

For the next several weeks, Kai wanted to watch baseball at dinnertime instead of his usual videos.  It was my good fortune that his interest coincided with the White Sox’ best hot streak of the season.  I actually was able to watch several games as the Sox moved into first place.  But, as the summer went on, Kai’s interest in baseball faded, as did the Sox’ winning ways.

Kai’s interest in playing sports is, so far, only mildly more than in watching it on television.  We recently had the bad, and then good experience with soccer.  But, overall, he just has not been too interested in playing.

So, it’s been my pleasant surprise lately that he has asked me to go play baseball with him in the front yard.  Now, playing baseball with Kai is not like playing baseball with other kids.  In fact, it’s not really baseball at all.  I call it Kai Ball.

The only part that resembles baseball is that a ball is pitched and the batter hits it.  What happens after that is more a combination of tag and football.  The batter, usually Kai, runs around while the pitcher, usually me, grabs the ball and chases him.  There are no bases, just a lot of running all over the yard.  For a little guy, he runs really fast.  But, eventually I’ll chase him down and grab him.  If I’m not too exhausted, I’ll spin him around before gently “tackling” and tickling him.  Between the running and spinning, I’m usually dizzy and ready to pass out, but he sure loves it.  The best part for me is hearing him laugh and laugh throughout all the chasing and tackling. 

This October, I am not sure how many football games I will watch.  I probably won’t see too much of the World Series.  But, if I get in a few more games of Kai Ball, I will be happy.  After all, it’s now my new favorite sport.

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