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The Baby Races

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Harm came to no babies in this story.

The actions of this story took place on Easter of 1988. I was attending The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. My oldest brother Tony, his wife and his one-year-old son, John, lived in Columbus and I had caught a ride with them to our parents’ home for the Holiday. 

All of my siblings, their significant others and their children were going to be at my household to celebrate the festivity. My oldest brother, Tony, is four years and nine months older than me. The second eldest, Gene, is three years and nine months older than me. The third child is Nic, he is two years and six months older than me. The fourth sibling is our sister Frankie, she is fifteen months older than me. I am the youngest. 

That Easter was a very nice spring day. My parents still lived in the home where they had raised the five of us. It was a large residence, there were four bedrooms, two and quarter bathrooms, a full basement. Because the weather was pleasant, Tony, Nic and I took a stroll around the allotment with Tony’s and Nic’s sons, John and Willy. We loaded the boys into their strollers, and we started walking around the block. 

Near the end of the walk, we were standing at the top of a slope where the road went downward to the front of our house. As kids, we would ride sleds down that hillside in the winter, and we would have go-cart races in the summer with the other neighborhood children. 

My brothers and I stood at the principal of that hill. We started glancing at the two boys in their strollers and peering at each other. Nic’s son, Willy, was about five months old. Willy was larger than John at that point.

Tony, Nic and I were all thinking the same thing. I announced myself to the impartial referee and set the rules. The fathers could walk behind and guide the strollers, but they could not push. I would declare the first baby to pass the property line to our house the winner of the race.

We spent the next ninety minutes letting the kids free roll down the slope in their strollers, taking them back to the top of the hillside and letting them go again. The boys loved it. 

Now, through the years, my siblings would have small competitions between their kids. Because I never married or had offspring of my own, they would pick me as the referee. There was a period where I was dating a woman who had a daughter who was about the same age as John and Willy. The girl just joined in the games and everybody had fun. All the people cheered for all the youngsters.  

I moved from Ohio to Colorado about the time the kids would have been old enough to play baseball. We would have had the adults taking part in fielding positions while the children batted. 

I miss those times. All of my nephews and my niece have graduated from college and are living their lives. None of them have any kids, but I am sure when they do we will have many more “Baby Races”.

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