October 6, 2000
As I pulled into the drive way after work, there sat Dakota on the front steps. In his little hands he held a plastic ball and bat. He spotted me and jumped to his feet and to meet my car. I opened the door to get out and the first words out of his mouth were, “Dad, will you play ball with me?” Looking down at his angelic face, how could I help but agree. I set my briefcase down and went out into the yard. He threw me the ball and immediately took his batting stance. Two taps of the plate with his bat and he was ready for a pitch. I wound up and gently tossed the ball in his general direction. In the blink of an eye, he smacked the ball across the street and began to run around the bases. I stood like a deer in headlights looking across the street to where the ball had landed. I must have stood there to long since Dakota had finished his home run trot and was again awaiting another pitch. I was severely chastised by my son for not going to get the ball. I quickly retrieved the home run ball and set up for another pitch. The ball again went in about belt high and again, the kid smacked the cover off the ball, this one going to right field or in this case, the front door. At just that moment, Trina came out to check on why I had not come into the house after arriving home from work. Trina’s timing could not have been worse as she opened the door, a baseball came whizzing by her head nearly getting her between the eyes. Dog Dot Com was not so lucky as the ball came down directly at her smacking her directly on the butt. She immediately yelped and scampered away to hide. The whole sight was almost surreal as I watched the dog howling and running for cover while Dakota was doing his home run trot around the bases. For the next 45 minutes, he and I stood out on the lawn taking turns hitting and pitching to each other. It was an experience I will treasure forever and one I will never forget. Neither will Dog Dot Com. She spent the evening down in the family room away from all doors and windows. Keeping her distance from Dakota all evening.