Last night, I was taking Comang on his evening walk when I ran into a group of boys playing baseball.
There is almost always a group of middle-school-aged boys playing on this block when the weather is nice (I think one or two of them live on that street) — they are usually skateboarding, biking, or just hanging around.
However, this was the first time I’ve seen them playing baseball…on this busy urban street.
Allow me to clarify: they were spread out over the two sidewalks on either side of the street, with two bases on one sidewalk and the other two on the other. They were throwing and hitting the ball across the street, stopping frequently as cars drove by.
I know that this is a potentially dangerous game, but I am not their mother so who am I to judge? I continued walking my dog and stayed on the far end of the sidewalk, trying my best not to be intrusive as I always do whenever I encounter this group of boys.
As I walked by their makeshift diamond, I suddenly heard a CRACK!
Then I felt it. The unmistakable bend of air as the newly-hit baseball flew right by me.
It was just a mere inches away from my stomach.
I froze. Comang froze at my feet.
Then I heard…
I could not believe it. These boys were laughing at almost having hit me.
I flew into a rage. “DO YOU THINK THAT’S FUNNY?!!”
The continued to snicker.
“I AM PREGNANT. WHAT IF YOU HAD HIT MY STOMACH? WHAT IF YOU HAD HURT MY BABY??!!!”
No change in reaction.
I was tired from having been out all day. It was getting late, and dark. So I did the easiest thing: I walked away, tears stinging my eyes.
I recounted the story to J as soon as I returned home. He was unsurprisingly sympathetic and angry. Since we are just starting to enter the warmer months and these boys are always hanging out on that street, we decided that we should change Comang’s walk route to extend over a different block. It is a bit more inconvenient, but at least that block is quiet.
I’ve now had the night to think about the incident. I know that whoever had hit the ball had little to no control over its trajectory. HOWEVER, I also know that they should have at least paused the game while a pregnant woman (yes, my belly is big enough to be noticeable now and I was wearing a form-fitting shirt) walked by.
I thought about contacting their parents — at least the parents of the boy(s) who live on that block — but I’m not sure that would help because I’m pretty sure that they do not speak English.
What would you do, or have done in this situation?