The Boys of summer
Every year I wait in anticipation as the last smidge of snow melts away. I rejoice while everyone else cries about an hour of lost sleep. I spring forward cheerfully as the wet earthy smell of spring permeates the air. The time is nigh! Baseball season has arrived!
Now mind you, I am NO fan of professional ball play. You can keep the highly paid game of Major League Baseball. Other than an opportunity to peruse cute backsides in baseball pants, it holds no interest for me.
I am a baseball Mom.
My son Joseph, now thirteen and playing Junior Babe Ruth, blessed me with this title when he reached the tender age of seven. My five year old, Jordan, follows in his big brother’s footsteps this year as he begins playing T-Ball. This has become an integral part of my identity. If Joseph is on the baseball field, I am right there behind him. I yell my head off! I cheer the team on. I have plugged up team nosebleeds. I’ve wiped throw up from the mouths of overheated players. I have warmed up the pitcher and coached first base. I am by far the entire team’s biggest fan. From March to July, find me at my office in the blue beach chair right behind the dugout.
Children playing baseball is by no means only an athletic experience. Sitting in the rain last night at our opening game with only one practice under our belt, I stood amazed by the gentlemen that make up this year’s team.
They rallied around a younger, inexperienced child who was timid. They showed him how to hold the bat, they encouraged him. That child came to the field terrified of his first experience with a sport and walked off that field a member of a brotherhood, a brotherhood of boys that will have his back for the rest of his life.
When the game reached a point where they were down and out, they came together. They connected, they became a team. They communicated with each other on the field. They lifted each other up in the dugout. They listened to the instructions of Coach and put those instructions into play.
Communication, teamwork, perseverance, is a fraction of what those children displayed. There is no part of life where these skills are not a benefit. Their hard work was rewarded with the celebration of winning the game. There may be a day where they will lose one and high five the other team with grace and a sense of dignity.
Involve your children in sports. The benefit of team play resounds for a lifetime.
As for me, I have at least thirteen more springs of being in my beach chair behind the dugout.