Rainy Baseball Days

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Let the good times roll!

The mound has been covered for days. It’s been raining all week and the practices haven’t been cancelled. It rained the first week of baseball as well, but the coaches were more inclined to cancel when the weather wasn’t warm (maybe because the kids weren’t used to it yet…?).

Some parents are bitching about the weather or the lack of play their kid is getting. Other parents are late to every practice and game. And everyone has an opinion on what everyone else is doing. I knew this was going to happen, but I still refuse to be part of it.

Instead, I’m focusing on something more important. I see a kid who found his true love in life at the age of nine. I see a kid who has practiced in the wind and rain and felt as though it was the “best practice ever!” I’ve seen a kid win games and shine or lose games and shake it off quickly. I see a kid who has fallen in love with the game of baseball like he’s never fallen before.

I’m so proud of my son. He hasn’t missed a practice or a game and he has cried – literally cried! – when there were two cancellations due to rain or scheduling conflicts. He’s told me he’s learned so much in only a few short weeks and I believe him. I believe him because I can see the changes in him on a weekly basis. For example, the other night, we got home and my son was literally jumping up and down when he explained that he finally knows how to pitch a ball properly. That’s all it took – for the coaches to show him how to hold a ball and pitch. His happiness seems so simple. And that makes me happy.

At the last practice, he stood on the mound for pitching practice and I noticed a strange look on his face, one of disappointment and sadness because he wasn’t pitching to the best of his ability. The coach walked over to my son, had a few words, tapped him encouragingly on the brim of his hat, and then walked back to the catchers position. It was like a lightbulb went on and suddenly my kid was throwing strikes. Strike after strike after strike, this kid was nailing it! I swelled with pride. I said a silent prayer of thanks to the coach.

And then it was off to the batting cages. Without much prompting, my kid nailed it again. Hit after hit, his new bat seemed to work perfectly well. He seems to have found his natural talent and he’s taking full advantage of it. At one point, as we sat having dinner one night, he mentioned that instead of hockey, he’d prefer to find a winter baseball league. In our small community, winter consists of hockey and curling…that’s it. He was seriously disappointed when realized he couldn’t play baseball all year long.

I remember the feeling of finding the thing you’re meant to do. I was 11 years old. My son found his at age 9. I remember the swelling in my chest as my heart beat a little faster with my successes. And I remember the bitter disappointment and the ambition to get better with my failures. It was like I knew what I was meant to do. And I see the same thing in my son. The realization and recognition is written all over his face. 

Maybe some day he’ll play in the MLB like he wants to or maybe he won’t. It doesn’t matter to me. But I know we have a lot of years of baseball ahead. As long as he’s happy, I’m here to support and encourage him through the sunshine and the rain. 

Sorry

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I need to say sorry. I’ve been awfully ignorant and I feel bad. So this is my confession.

Last week, while my son and I were walking into a gas station, a guy drove up in a flashy sports car (yeah, I noticed the car) and he parked right beside the door as we walked up. He rushed to open the door to the gas station for me and my son and he smiled flirtatiously as I ushered my son inside. The dude was sending out some serious vibes. I merely smiled back and said thank you quickly and went on my way.

I’m sorry, young, hot guy with the nice car. I’m sorry I couldn’t stop to chat (which is usually what I’d do if I wasn’t with my son). I’m not usually as ignorant or rude as I may have seemed that day. But I was with my son. And my son is my only focus when I’m with him. We were in a rush because we were on our way out of the city and I was already late. Those are excuses and I had no reason to be so oblivious. Please consider this my apology.

If my son hadn’t been with me and I hadn’t been so wrapped up in my own world, I probably would have stopped for a moment to say a more genuine thank you and to ask about your car. Maybe that would have led to a longer conversation or maybe it wouldn’t have. Either way, I would have been more sincere and thoughtful instead of being so dismissive and rude.

One last thing I’d like to say to the hot guy who clearly sent out those flirty vibes, thank you. Thank you for making me feel good about myself and for helping me to realize I need to work on myself.

Sometimes, as mothers, we got lost in our lives. We forget that we, too, are worthy of attention. We give up being the center of attention to put our kids on a pedestal. For many years I’ve been unnoticeable as a person with her son by her side, but you didn’t make me feel old, frumpy, and invisible. You made me smile many hours later when you popped into my mind again later that day. And because you looked me straight in the eye, smiled flirtatiously, held the door open for me, and made me feel noticed, I realized that I am noticeable.

Thank you for that moment. Maybe it doesn’t have anything to do with you, but you were the catalyst to help me realize that I’m not only a mother. I’m so much more than just one title. Being a mother is important, but being me is just as important.