Amazing how late you can play wiffle ball when it's the longest day of the year, there's a half-moon, and fireflies fill the sky. Zack, our seven year old, Martin, his buddy, and I played until 8:35 tonight as Martin's folks and my wife sat on the steps and visited. When the boys connected the ball was just a ghostly streak as it rushed past me. I'd chase it as they made a circuit in our front yard field-first base, dead grass spot by the flower bed; second base, dead grass spot in the middle of the yard; third base, the water meter cover, home, the dead grass spot at the intersection of the driveway and sidewalk.

In this game, one is allowed to literally throw out an runner, so when I ran across the street and retrieved the ball from the Goode's driveway-actually, I'm not sure a middle-aged tenderfooted, barefoot man gingerly making his way across the asphalt qualifies as running--I would take two steps, aim, and unload.

More for Father's Day:

  • A Step-Dad Makes Every Day Father's Day

  • Everything I Need to Know ...I Learned From My Kids!

  • Jean Fitzpatrick on Fathers and Spirituality

  • Once I hit Martin on the left calf as he was going home. That was a sweet moment.

    In Sunday School today Bob, the teacher, talked about the father/mother imagery of God in the Bible. No one in our class seems comfortable with a maternal image of God. On this Father's Day, I'm uncomfortable with the usual paternal image of God. I'm a father, too, and I know that I've done a poor job of it too often. I've been lazy, stingy, and petty with my son. I've been a bully. I've been indifferent. I think I've sullied the concept of fatherhood so badly I don't want it to have anything to do with the way I think of God.

    But I'm putting all that aside for now. Because there are four improvised bases in the front yard and base paths connecting them. And I'll remember this as the summer when we often played wiffle ball at my son's insistence. And for that I am happy and grateful on this Father's Day.

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