Today is a momentous day in the Stevens family because of the symbolic exchanging of softballs.
Chloe Stevens also turns 4 today, and I am welcoming her to the time when, according to my Internet research, memories can stay with you forever. I now am making important points to Chloe by staring at her eyes and slowly saying, "Believe me. You will remember this for the rest of your life."
In the Stevens family, we welcome someone to age 4 with the giving of softballs and the terse message: "To ________, happy fourth birthday. Love, _______." I received a similar ball from my grandfather, Edward "Coach" Stevens, and on Sophie Stevens' fourth birthday, the XMan gave her a softball.As most Stevenses do, Chloe reacted to her softball gift with indifference followed by strained politeness. She preferred a package from Grandma that contained books, coloring books, temporary tattoos, four My Little Ponies, a dress, princess hair set, golf glove, symbolic golf ball, cash, airplane tickets to Sweden and a four-carat diamond necklace (only the final two items were exaggerated).
It will likely take Chloe 13 more years to truly appreciate her symbolic softball. But one day, she will.