Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Baseball.


So here's one of those real talk confessions: my oldest boy was signed up for baseball because I was in the thick of fall semester finals during basketball sign up and totally missed the deadline.  Baseball was a way to make it up to him.  My younger boy was signed up as well as a reward for making straight A's.
 
I did not realize the kind of commitment I was looking at.
 
I'm from a very baseball-centric town.  In my hometown, things revolve around being at the ballfields.  I'm Facebook friends with people who I went to high school whose lives literally stop every spring when ball season starts.  And if their kiddo makes a traveling team? Forget about it.  It's all spring and summer, several nights a week, all weekend long, and many a late night.
 
I'm not cut out for it.  I'm just not.
 
This season of baseball has been . . . interesting.
 

Part of me wishes the boys had played organized ball earlier.  They're both having fun and they're both pretty good at it.  They're learning the fundamentals and they get a little better with every game.  I was watching J play last night and thought, "wow, if I had put him in T-ball, he'd be on a competitive team right now." 

There's another part of me, though, that's glad I've let them come into their own and pick the sport they want to excel in.  For J it's basketball (though he's still going to do tackle football in the fall) and K1 is obsessed with football.  They've each picked the sport they want to pursue and now we're at a point where they can really say they have tried everything.  And I'm so relieved they're not so like so many of the boys (and girls!) I went to school with who only played ball because their daddy pushed them.  I want passion, regardless of the sport they choose, not "have to" or family legend or whatever.  Passion.

Our baseball season is winding down.  K1 has three games left, one of which he'll have to miss due to a prior commitment.  J's tournament starts tomorrow and, bless their hearts, I'm not sure they'll make it through the first round.  K1's team has one every single game they've played; they even scored 19 runs in their last game!  Poor J's team, though, they have struggled all season long, they've had heartbreakers, and they've yet to win.

It's been so fun - and, honestly, a real blessing - to see how much my boys have grown this baseball season.  I'm not necessarily talking about skills either.  I mean, duh, I love seeing their skills grow.  I'm mostly talking about J here and I'm talking about how his sportsmanship has grown.  Their game Tuesday night is an example of this.  They lost by just one run, their second game in a row that was a bit of a heartbreaker.  And J wasn't even angry.  He was proud of the out he got at first and so, so proud of his work toward forcing an out at home.  After the game he was all, "mom, did you see that out???  Wasn't that awesome?!" rather than focusing on the fact that they lost the game.  Progress, progress, so much progress.

Both boys have really progressed in their skills.  They're decent little hitters and they've grown so much when it comes to fielding and just learning the basics of the game.  I'm so proud of them!

All that said, I am so ready for the season to be over.  So ready.  And I'm also so glad that they've (probably) settled on fall and winter sports.  Spring sports are hard!  I feel like this time of year the school commitments are even busier than the holidays and throwing a sport in there?  Ahhhhh!  For example, our schedule this week:

Monday - K1 baseball
Tuesday - K1 and Girlchild late practice for school program, J football game, K2 perform at PTA meeting (we had to drop the PTA meeting to make the other stuff work -- and dropped it because she'll be performing the same songs next Thursday at her kindergarten graduation.  This did not stop her from being pissed)
Wednesday - OH GLORIOUS DAY, NO AFTER SCHOOL ACTIVITIES soooo, of course, we invite friends over for dinner
Thursday - Field day at school (important to point out because they're going to be exhausted), after school club for Girl Child, K1 and Girl Child school performance at 6:30, K1 baseball game at 7:15, J baseball tournament 7:15

It's Thursday that kind of kills me.  K1 will have to miss his baseball game and Mark and I will have to divide and conquer.  I'm going to miss their performance and it breaks my heart a little bit but J can't miss his tournament.

One final thing about baseball:

I can't step on the fields without thinking about Morgan Nick.  She was a six-year-old girl who was abducted from a ballfield in Alma, Arkansas, back in 1995.  I was 15 at the time and I remember so vividly and, swear to Jesus, when I die and go to Heaven one of the first things I'll ask is "What happened to Morgan Nick?"  Anyway, K2 LOVES to go to games with me.  She loves to run around and play with her ballpark friends.  And, it never fails, I get a little panicky when I lose sight of her.  Just yesterday, she and two other girls turned a small piece of playground equipment into a "clubhouse."  K2 was sandwiched in the middle so I couldn't see her easily and I got up to look for her thinking, "MorganNick, MorganNick, MorganNick."  I'm pretty sure anyone around my age who grew up in Arkansas feels the same way.  The ballpark shouldn't be scary . . .  but it kinda is.  That said, the other kids do LOVE being there and running and playing with the other siblings.  So I have to tell my anxiety to hush and let them play and be.

So that's been our first year with baseball!

I'm so glad it's (almost!) over.

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