Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Play Ball!

I love spring.

Sure, the nicer weather is a happy change, and the impending end of the school year is definitely something to look forward to, but that's not why I look forward to the season every year.

No, it's baseball. And fastpitch. And softball.

What can I say? I'm a fan.

Last week, I was sitting with my parents at the second game of the evening, and I was explaining some ruling to them. My mother looked at me and said, "You spent your entire childhood sitting under a tree reading a book. How in the world did you become an expert?"

I joked that it was a survival mechanism, and to some extent that's true. With three kids on three different teams, I had to eventually pay attention to what was going on or end up hopelessly lost. But it's more than that.

The kids first started playing seven or eight years ago, and those first games were amusing, but nothing to write home about. (Although our oldest, that first year, played almost every position - simultaneously - because the rest of the team was busy drawing in the dirt or chasing butterflies. Hey, it was T-ball. That's almost a prerequisite.)

Then something changed. FutureStar ended up on a team with coaches who knew what they were doing, and the kids started to learn how to actually play. Then MidKid got on the same team. This year, that team is now three teams, and FutureStar is on 14U. Meanwhile, MidKid was recruited for a select team, and has been playing in tournaments all season. And GPS finally (finally!) has a decent coach and is learning how to play the game as well.

It's the leaping catch to snag a foul ball and get that out. It's the charge across the field to hold a runner on third. It's the split-second decision to fire the ball at home plate instead of second. It's the perfect bunt down the third base line, or the line drive into the gap. It's the joy when coach puts them in as the position they really want to play.

So yeah, I love this season. I love watching my kids grow as players, work together with their teammates, battle back from a deficit to pull out a win at the last minute. The defeats are hard, definitely, but they're also teaching my kids to be good sports, to learn from mistakes, to pick themselves back up and try again.

This weekend, we've got two tournaments in two different cities for two of the kids, and a game, practice, and team party for the third. I'm not sure how we're going to get everyone where they need to be when they need to be there, but we'll figure it out.

And I wouldn't have it any other way.


PG Forte said...

OMG, you've just described my worst nightmare. I've written odes to how much I dislike baseball. No joke.

Erin Nicholas said...

Kate, I can so relate! Love baseball, LOVE watching my kid play- and be successful! Hubby coaches too which is fun to see. He's really good with the kids and it really makes him happy. So, I'm a fan too!

Kelly Jamieson said...

I'm not much of a baseball fan but I love your mom's comment: You spent your entire childhood sitting under a tree reading a book. THAT WAS ME TOO!