“Can I tell you a question?”

“You mean: Can I ask you a question?”

“Yeah. If someone is on second base and there’s a bunt, do I throw to first base or second base?”

“Who are you?”

“I’m Brooks.”

“I know you’re Brooks. What position are you playing?”

“Short stop—sometimes left field—they switch it up.”

“I know. But what position are you playing for the question?”

At that point, the dinner conversation has ventured too far from its origin for any one of our family of three to salvage it. Of course, my ever-good-natured son is happy enough to go on to a new topic for the moment, as long as it’s sports-related.

His learning challenges are obvious during these moments, but so are his Herculean efforts to understand the larger concepts that elude him. Although we employ many strategies to help him—repetition, breaking it down into smaller steps, keeping it light and fun—there is no single magic bullet that makes it stick.

The new dinner topic now becomes explaining that you can and should overrun first base, and we’re not sure he gets that either—but we do know that he cracks up at my attempts to tear up napkins to represent the bases and then use two fingers to run them.

Before long, Brooks circles back to his original question.

“Mommy, if there’s a bunt, do I throw to first or second base?”

“Who are you?”

“I’m Brooks.” A little indignant, this time.

“I know you’re Brooks. What position are you playing?”

“Short stop—sometimes left field—they switch it up.”

And at that moment, I give myself a break—I stop worrying about the quality of his education and his academic short-comings: He’s good-looking and he’s going to be a professional baseball player.

 

This post was originally published on Inisdeschools.org.

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