At the start of baseball season, my guy was afraid to swing the bat too hard. He was shy about mixing with the rest of his team. He sat in the dust instead of the bench. He looked around in the outfield, chasing daisies instead of pop flies.
I had no idea a couple of months ago how important it would be to get my kid into team sports.
“Get them into baseball,” my husband kept at me.
“But I don’t want to spend all summer running from practice to practice, game to game,” I complained. (Complained, maybe whined, it’s a bit of a blur.)
I played baseball as a kid. In fact, I played in a social league as an adult, right up until I had kids. I love playing baseball. But I didn’t see my kids loving it. (Or maybe I just didn’t feel like it.)
Let me tell you, living in Toronto, what Bautista and his bat flip did for baseball in Toronto is nothing short of heroic. All of the leagues were beyond capacity. Their waitlists were even closed – the waitlist had a waitlist. And then someone recommended a league. I got my older son into the last remaining space in the entire City of Toronto. My younger son would have to sit out this year though. There were no other leagues with any availability for his age group.
Baseball would take over our summer. Games were Monday and Wednesday evenings, practices were Saturday mornings. Between sitting in the dirt, sliding into home and falling in the outfield, his shirt and pants had to be washed after every wear. Three times a week.
This wasn’t working out for me.
I wanted to quit.
“Stick with it honey,” my husband kept saying. Easy for him to say, he had to work through the practices, the games.
And then my son got it.
The look on his face and the glint in his eyes – it all changed after that first hard hit.
For both of us.
It was no longer something I had to do, it was something I looked forward to doing. He stopped needing to be told what to do, he looked forward to his next game, his next turn at bat. He started figuring out which positions he enjoyed playing, how to control the ball as he threw it.
I started feeling bad that my husband would miss all of this.
It’s amazing what baseball can teach you. Apparently it’s why, now that baseball season is over, I’m about to become what I never wanted to become… A. Hockey. Mom.