Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game

I helped him stick each finger in the right hole of his brand new baseball glove with a little lump in my throat.  The moment just felt important.  Soon after, he stood in our driveway, glove still on his hand, and as I snapped a picture, I knew I was capturing so much more than a photo.

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RJ’s first baseball practice.  His first sport. His first team.

He has been waiting to play a sport for a whole year.  We just couldn’t find a program that we both felt comfortable with.  Then one night at dinner he announced that he wanted to play baseball.  Ian and I looked at each other and smiled because we both agreed that was the perfect sport for him.  I looked up youth baseball immediately and found that the last day to sign up was that night.  We jumped right on it and his skills assessment was the very next morning.

Ian had to work, and RJ didn’t even have a baseball glove.  So the boys and I woke up early and went to the sports store.  We started trying on gloves and neither of us could figure out why they weren’t fitting until the sales associate came over, little smirk on his face, and put the glove on his left hand for us. OH MAN, was I out of my league.

If ever there was a reason to blog – to capture all the little moments – as I look at my wild-eyed little boy with his cleats two sizes too big and glove on the wrong hand- it’s the constant reminder that this stage will be gone before I’m even done soaking him in.

We got to the ball field and it was pure intimidation for me- utter excitement for him.  Three year olds were hitting balls over the home run fence. They had arms on them better than I’ve seen on high school teams.  Everyone was dressed in baseball pants, socks, jerseys, fully equipped with their own bats, batting helmets, batting gloves, and baseball bags.  I felt like the worst mother in the world showing up to (what I believed to be T-ball) with a little red glove and a Superman water bottle. Liam had never even held a bat or put on a glove until early that morning.

I was so worried for him, but when his name was called, he enthusiastically ran out on the field and said, “WOW, I can’t WAIT to try that!”  The coach hit him some ground balls, and he ran right up to them, grabbed them and threw them to first base like he’d been playing all his life. (Well, maybe not his whole life, but I was IMPRESSED!)

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My little baller sauntered out after the skills assessment, glowing. His first question: “Can I come back and play tomorrow?”

When Ian got home from work we took him back to the sports store and got him his very own equipment.  Something in my gut tells me I better get used to it… I suspect we are going to be buying baseball gloves for years to come.

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GO CARDINALS!

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