Lizard Hall Home

Art and the Light
Close Calls
Emotional Weather Report
Fathers and Daughters
The Kitchen Table
Like as the Night Follows Day
St. Petersburg
Wake Up Different
What Mama Said


By Christine O'Brien

In junior high and high school, one of the worst times of year for me was softball season. I couldn't play at all and was always among the last chosen when teams were made up. I and the other girls who were just plain failures at sports slunk around trying to be invisible and dreading our turn at bat. I was always assigned to play right field, the spot least likely for the ball to be hit, but, inevitably, once or twice each season I would get struck in the mouth attempting to field a grounder and come home with a fat lip or a chipped tooth.

Finally, my father decided he would teach me to play. We practiced every day in the back yard: he pitched and I batted; then I pitched and he batted. My youngest sister was always our outfielder, and, as a result, I never learned to catch. But I learned to bat. I could hit anything. And I learned to pitch -- nothing devious, just right over the plate, where you wanted it.

The following year I was made one of the captains and found myself picking the team. After picking my best friends, I picked all of the girls no one wanted, starting with the least desirable and moving up from there. We never won a game, but for years, I thought of it as the kindest thing I'd ever done.

Published in The Sun in July 1995

Christine’s Blog
SunSpots | Treasure of the Month | Tymecard | Hazel | La Cuisine
Lizard Hall site concept and design by Lady Lizard. © 2000-2006 Christine O’Brien. All rights reserved.