We just finished up our inaugural year of Little League. As the mom of one of the best-players out there (ahem… I said I was a mom) I have to say how much fun T-Ball was! Everyone told me how boring it would be and how I’d be ready to gouge my eyes out after sitting through each and every game. But I could not disagree more.
I’d bring my chair every week, sit on the sidelines with my water-bottle and watch & cheer as the kids came to life out there. 45 to 60 minutes of pure relaxation. Now I will admit, T-Ball in our community is not competitive. Every hit is one base. Yes, you can get out, but that happens one in five batters; the chances of the other team catching the ball and throwing it to a baseman in time to get the runner out was pretty low, and pop-fly outs were unheard of. The inning is over after either three outs or 6 batters. No more than four innings, usually three. As for score, I can’t keep track… but it’s hardly something that is focused on. This is my kind of competition. Laid back and relaxed!
It helps that my 6 year-old doesn’t have his hands in the dirt the whole time. (Yes, it did happen though.) He had his head in the game and had his share of getting runners out. He didn’t hit the ball out of the park but made it around the bases. He looked forward to the games; the camaraderie on the bench waiting to bat; and the team-snacks after, of course.
Yesterday night, amid light-sprinkles, we had our final game of the season. At *E*’s first up-to-bat he popped the ball into the air. By some stroke up luck it went right to a fielder and the fielder caught it mid-air. I have never seen a child so surprised at what he had just accomplished (and thrilled!). There were cheers all over the field and amongst the spectators on both teams. (Pop-fly outs just don’t occur in T-Ball, after all.) Yes, my son was out, but even he was smiling at the other team’s good-fortune. This was certainly my kind of baseball!
So now as the season has come to an end a trophy sits on my son’s bedroom shelf. Yesterday afternoon that shelf had plastic-army men and humvees & even a giant Blackhawk helicopter on it. Those have all been pushed off the shelf for something more: A trophy. In 20 years it will be a dust-collector. Right now it is his pride-and-joy! A memento of the thrill of baseball in the eyes of a 6-year-old. And a reminder of good-clean memories in the eyes of his mom.