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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Little League baseball is a very good thing because it keeps the parents off the streets. - Yogi Berra

For the second year, Papa coached Boo's little league team, the Dodgers, consisting of 7-8 year olds.  
They both had a great time spending quality one-on-one time together, but Boo just doesn't seem to posses the competitive spirit that sports require.  On the other hand, he does look incredibly cute in the uniform!
He likes being with Papa and his friends, but there's no sense of urgency to get around the bases, or strong will to make an out or even pay attention to the game.  Not sure if this is an stage thing or not.  Boo is still thinking about if he wants to play again next year.
Papa sure would like him to!  But the choice is up to Boo.
Patch, however, who will be 13 this summer, is completely different.
He can push his body to extremes.  He takes baseball to heart.    He tries really hard to find his place among his peers.  And it doesn't come easily for him.

Patch played on the Phillies for the second year in a row.  He's a emotional player, and that's not a good thing in baseball.  One wrong look from his coach, meant he was unlikely to hit the ball and likely to make errors in the field.
{Boo watching his big brother play.  Is this the stuff mama dreams are made of?}

This season started off tough.  There was no joy in Mudville for the first half of the season.  Patch's team did great, but we could not say the same for Patch.  This mama wrung her hands dry and left games with her throat hoarse trying to cheer him on.
Despite practice and many trips to the batting cages and lessons {for months} he was just unable to to get the bat on the ball.  He'd "go down looking" and whiff balls that were too high or too low.  It was hard to watch.  It was hard on my sweet boy who said through tears after many games, I just want to hit the ball!
I've always found it a bit hard to determine exactly when is the right time to step in for your child.  I mean I want them to learn to fight their own battles.  And stand up for themselves.  And I want all my children to know, with confidence, that they can do it.
But... there is a time when parents have to step in.
So there was a little somethin' somethin' that went down.  A little somethin' that shall not be published on this blog.  But someone was made aware by someone else of the tender heart that my sweet boy wears on his sleeve.  Someone was informed that a little "attaboy" would go a long way towards getting Patch to hit the ball and field without errors.
And suddenly, with encouragement, my boy was hitting and fielding and more importantly smiling and wanting to go to games and feeling like a part of a team!
{That sky is completely unedited!  It was just that time of day, late dusk, when magic happens!}
Our Phillies made it to the playoffs.  And then they made it to the finals!  All the mamas and the papas cheered on their boys.
And as they won the finals, (yep... I said the FINALS!)  this mama again found her throat very hoarse, from yelling and cheering the boys on and celebrating for her own boy who had a bit of an extra hurdle to overcome.
Congrats Patch!  The Phillies couldn't have done it without you!

6 comments:

  1. Yeah for Patch and the Phillies!! The pictures are GORGEOUS, Nancy! You really captured the heart of baseball - I can almost smell it! The popsicles and sweat :) So proud of both of your boys!!

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  2. Patch reminds me of my oldest. Sweet reddish blond hair and a sprinling of freckles....just like my 15yr old. Except my kiddo just got his braces off. yippee

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  3. You are an inspiration! They way you parent. They way you love. They way you see your children. Every child on this planet should have a parent who loves them as deeply as you love yours!

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  4. Great post! A reminder of how unique each child is and how many decisions go into guarding our children's hearts. Love the pile-up photo--an instant classic!

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  5. Awww, this is the sweetest post! And Gene? He would stand on the field, look up to the sky, watch birds, throw his glove up and catch it...LOL. I really enjoyed this series of photos!

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  6. Oh, gosh, that just got me so teary and choked up! I will hate to have to let them fight their own battles. Wow, you handled that so well :)

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