Bats n’ Brats

My youngest son was hit in the head by a baseball bat…twice. You’d figure he would have learned his lesson the first time, but apparently, it didn’t stick, but the baseball bat sure did! Both times were horrible accidents that probably could have been avoided, but here we are…they weren’t.

The first time he was hit I wasn’t there. At the time, that was odd because I was always there. It happened during one of the rare times I needed a babysitter while I went to a job interview. My youngest son was about 2 or 3 years old at the time. The babysitter and older siblings were playing baseball in the back of the house when it happened. My daughter was up to bat and when she swung, suddenly her little brother ran up behind her, catching the tail end of the swing. It gave him a little scar but his head handled it surprisingly well.

The second time he was hit he was about 4 years old. It was the same scenario, just a different sibling. What makes it funny now is that he was hit in the same spot on his head and received another little scar. The scars crisscrossed and formed a “T,” the first letter of his first name. He’s fully grown and has tattoos now, but I think this may have been the start of it for him. Of course, I think most people would’ve waited until they were an adult to get branded…

Now you’re probably wondering where the brats come in, and by brats, I mean bratwurst, not annoying little kids. In Wisconsin, especially during the warmer months, groups would make money by selling freshly grilled brats in front of the grocery store. For us, that meant a block-long walk to get brats almost every Saturday or Sunday. All my kids liked this, but my youngest really, really liked it. Even when the other kids opted out, I could count on him to remind me it was time to go get a brat.

After the second time getting hit by the bat, my son obviously cried. He held the wet washcloth to his head and looked perfectly miserable.

ME: Hurts, huh?

SON: (Sniff, sniff) Yeah.

ME: It’s going to be ok.

SON: (Sniff, sniff) No it’s not! (Sob).

ME: It will get better, I promise. (He sobbed even louder).

SON: No it won’t!

ME: Pretty soon it won’t hurt and you won’t have to cry. (He gave me the strangest look).

SON: I’m not crying cause it hurts. (Sob, sniff, sniff).

ME: Um, then why are you crying?

SON: Cause today is Saturday! (He lost me…)

ME: Um, there’ll be other Saturdays… (Then it all came out…)


Well, I guess he passed the concussion protocol. His priorities were perfectly in order…however, he wasn’t finished with the head trauma. A few years later, his head was struck again.

We were goofing around at a quiet little beach and the two younger boys were out playing in the water. My wife and I were tossing rocks, trying to skip the flat ones.

Wait for it! Quit guessing ahead!

Anyway, as you probably guessed ahead, my usual sure-fire rock aiming wife accidentally tossed an errant throw and it clunked him right in the head. His initial look was one of betrayal. He couldn’t believe it was even possible for her to do that to him! Then he cried. It wasn’t about brats this time. Luckily, it wasn’t a hard throw and he recovered nicely and we even continued to enjoy the beach. My wife, however, was pretty distraught for days…weeks…months…still!

My youngest son’s love for brats continues to this day…as does his avoidance of baseball bats and rocks…


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