So let me set the scene...
It is a warm summer evening and there is a nice breeze. The baseball field is full of kids of all abilities playing catch and getting serious about their sport....Challenger baseball!
Sam is at baseball practice and his Dad is his buddy and is coaxing him to participate. I am standing some distance away at a small playground area with Andrew, Sean and a few other kids. All the Challenger baseball kids, of all abilities, have partnered up and are throwing balls back and forth. Sam is running in the grass and has more interest in making Pat run after balls than an actual game of catch.
From a distance I am watching Sam run bases... his way (which is just another way of saying that Sam was running around a lot with no real direction). He is stealing other kids balls and throwing them in every direction. I really think that the idea of playing catch completely escapes him... either that or he just likes to watch people run after balls. Pat has no doubt broken a sweat at this point. Sam (AKA The Grounds Keeper) is all over the field. At one point I hear the coach yell "WE HAVE A RUNNER" as I turn to look and see that Sam has gotten out of the fenced area and is running full tilt towards the road.
This has become a game of sorts.
He waits until he thinks no one is paying attention and then he bolts. His giggles are that of a child who wants to get caught... but not before he lets you know that the score is Sam 1, parent-unaware 0. I am sure this was much more comical from a distance where I got to see the whole scene unfold.
Sam started making his way toward the gate. Bigger kids moved out of the way and actually assisted him to navigate the bats and helmets that slowed his progress a bit. And then he shifted into 4th gear. I hear the coach yell. I see Pat who was helping another kid bat, spring up and scan the field only to realize that Sam was gone. Just as Sam reached the street Pat scooped him up and brought him back inside the fence.
Now Sam has a mission. He is now determined that he will make it to the street. And now another idea occurs to him.... if I can't go into the street I can make others go into the street.
So now I see Sam pick up a ball and throw it. Not to anyone in particular but a good throw all the same. He then walks over to his ball, picks it up and throws it again. Good job Sam, I am thinking. Slowly but surely he is making his way across the field... until he reaches the fence. He then tosses the ball over the fence and into the road. Cars are breaking, adults are running and Sam is quite pleased with himself. Over the course of the practice Sam threw 2 balls into the street and escaped 3 times.
About 3/4 of the way through practice Sam is DONE. He is exhausted from all the "base running". He makes another break for it and starts to head over towards the small playground, takes a brief break at the swings and then takes off towards a concrete area that is behind the school. I try to coax him back to the game but he is... done. Sam is a master of the famous "stop, drop and flop" and he executes this perfectly making it impossible for me to lift him. As if to tell me that he is not moving another inch... he rolls to his back and puts his hands behind his head and just lounges there on the hard cement. He has had a good day, a fun practice and now he is pooped out.
Briefly he joins the team again but under protest. With very little cooperation from Sam we get him, Andrew and Sean loaded into the van. With practice over we are headed home for baths and bed.
Another great practice.