A page from the scrapbook I made Nyssa for her 16th birthday. (Nyssa and Miss L)
"Poets are like baseball pitchers. Both have their moments. The intervals are the tough things." ~ Robert Frost (1874-1963)I've already posted about Nyssa's short love affair with softball when she was in eighth grade. She wasn't very good at most of the needed skills but she could run like the wind and became the pinch runner.
Nyssa had no illusion of greatness, but she practiced with the team every day. One day after supper she asked a very strange question, "If there is blood around the gum of your tooth, does it mean the tooth is going to fall out?" Why would you ask that question? She very nervously told me that at softball practice they were working on throwing and catching and her friend (who was very good at softball) threw her the ball and she didn't catch it with her glove. She caught it with her face. Right in the mouth. And she didn't tell anyone. I looked at her teeth and the braces and there it was; a snapped wire, a little blood around the gum and a front tooth that was about 1/8th inch lower than the other. Had the braces not been there, the tooth would be gone. (More suspense ahead....click "read more")
Next morning, a trip to the dentist. He pushed it back up into place and fixed the wire; then it was off to the oral surgeon. Apparently, there was still a risk that the root was damaged and the tooth would die. He x-rayed and said we just had to wait and see although it looked ok. Thank goodness for braces; I knew they were good for something.
Of course the dentist highly recommended a mouth guard and over great protestations from Nyssa, he made one. It was great; a bright blue. She didn't want to wear it, but I insisted. I told her that if I came to a game and she was on the field, I better be able to see the mouthpiece in place or I would march right out on the field and haul her off.
I tried to make most of the home games. One evening I was running a bit late for the JV game. As I parked and started walking towards the bleachers, Nyssa's friend L. here ran by me on the way to the bus. She waved and kept running. I took my seat and there Nyssa was in the dugout waiting to be called to run. She fidgeted and looked around nervously, not a usual habit but I soon figured out what was up. Miss L came back and handed her a blue case and she slipped the mouthpiece in. L. told me later that Nyssa saw me coming, couldn't find her mouthpiece, remembered it was on the bus and sent her after it. I had to laugh. At least she knew me well enough to take my threat seriously. I do believe it is still floating around here somewhere.
She really should have worn it in basketball too, but she refused. Her reasoning? If she wore it she couldn't perform her signature defense.... she screams when the girl she's guarding tries to shoot the ball. Strange, yes, but unbelievably effective.
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