Being the mother of a halfway-out-the-door 21-year-old is a little like being a 45-year-old pitcher in major-league baseball. After two decades in the game, you’re mostly riding the pine with your elbow on ice. But that doesn’t mean the phone won’t ring in the bullpen.
Maybe it’s two in the morning and your son is 800 kilometres away, alone in his dorm room fighting Crohn’s disease. For the last decade, you’ve been the starting pitcher in that lopsided battle, throwing serious heat, but now he’s on his own and reaching out for a little backup. Right now, he’s after the old-timer’s knuckleball that will throw the batter off enough to make some magic late in the game.
Nothing scares you. That rookie with the herky-jerky throwing motion who could barely get the ball across the plate? A distant memory. You weathered the heartbreaking news delivered by atonal doctors in overlit rooms. You ground your way through hair-raising trips to the ER and fielded all the ordinary bad hops in between.
You even survived the days when you prayed someone would take you out of the game because you knew around any corner, down any street, you could find a pitcher ten times better. But your boy knows you’ve seen it all. Come crunch time, it’s you he wants finishing out the game.