My son is playing baseball. For the first time.
He’s got muddy cleats.
A sweat-stained baseball hat.
He’s learned to spit. And adjust.
He surprised us with a love for the game and a small competitive streak.
Huge strides considering he used to be a cross dresser.
He’s done pretty good too.
Until last week’s game. He struck out three times. In a row.
On the third strikeout he took off his batting helmet, threw it to the ground and stomped away.
Not exactly honoring the YMCA sportsmanship pledge on the back of his jersey.
My daughter had a volleyball game going on at the same time, so I missed the spectacle.
But my hubby did not. He coached him thru his bad attitude and encouraged him out of quitting. They worked on batting during the week a time or two. And his big sister even encouraged him with stories of her sports failures. Although she had few, she made sure she mentioned seven times.
I reminded him that everyone has off days and it was just part of the game.
My hubby and I switched places for the next game and he went with my daughter to volleyball and I followed my son to the baseball field.
He was called first to bat.
I wrung my hands nervously.
Since this is YMCA ball, they give the little guys about six pitches.
The first five, he swung and missed.
Now, to everyone else this was not a big deal, but I knew it was huge to my little boy.
And I’m telling ya’ll, I prayed and begged so hard, it was just plain wrong. I mean, The God of the Universe was surely busy on that humid Saturday morning. But I was desperate and so was my son’s self esteem.
I had my first hot flash on the sidelines. I rocked back and forth in my seat, willing him to hit the ball.
On the sixth pitch he made contact.
I stood up and screamed like one of THOSE moms. I made a complete fool of myself. I almost did a cartwheel.
Be glad I didn’t, mkay?
And there were tears, ya’ll, real tears. I just couldn’t help myself. The look of relief on my son’s face was huge.
He didn’t make any major plays and was caught once picking flowers in the outfield. But he felt like a winner because he persevered. At one point, he held up the game and in front of all the parents said confidently, “Hey Mom, could you squirt water down my back? I’m working hard here.”
Ahhh, my boy was back and he was real slugger.
And call me crazy, but I think God was in the stands.