Anyone who really knows me, will likely be confused by that statement.
Baseball coach? Really?
Sports have never been my thing. Unfortunately, I have virtually no interest in them. I’ve tried my best to feign interest for my very sports minded husband, but it’s hopeless. My attention span connected to any sport lasts about 13.5 seconds. In my 32 years of life I have yet to take the time to fully understand what a first down means in football. When I hear about March Madness I assume that the mattress store is having a huge sale and I sit in wonder why so many intensely watch these bracket things that seem to have the power to make or break the course of their days. A few years ago my husband asked me to fill out a bracket and since I am the kind of wife that wants to make her husband happy–I obliged. I chose my teams by which name sounded the prettiest.
Needless to say, my bracket didn’t do very well and he has not asked me to do once since. I think I embarrassed him.
Oh, and baseball. . . that’s the toughest sport of them all. For me, it’s an invitation to read a book or take a nap. I’ve never watched a game that lulls to me sleep like the slow moving sport of baseball. It has greater power to put me to sleep than a bath and a cup of warm milk before bed. If I’m having trouble falling to sleep, there is no need to mess with Ambien. . . just put me in front of a baseball game.
That is, however, until the one holding the bat is my little guy. At that point, it becomes something completely different.
It happened just the other day when we were given another glimpse into the gifts spring had to offer. We made the official transition from shoes to flip flops and from morning until evening I became coach and he became player.
Baseball is nothing new to our outside endeavors. We’ve played it since he was at least a year old. It went something like toss-swing-miss-chase-try again. Even last year there were fewer misses as he hit the ball into our neighbors yard and waited for me to chase it down before tossing another pitch.
When we went out the other day I expected the same routine, but something had changed. He wanted to understand the game. He wanted to know the rules, run the bases, and do it the “right” way. And so. . . I became coach Mom teaching him the basics of the game. Explaining what the bases are and how he should run them, but not run if he thought I might beat him to the base. I found myself explaining words like “foul” and “ball” and “walk” as he listened with the kind of intensity that matched my own during a conversation about running.
My usual disinterest in baseball disappeared as I watched the joy and enthusiasm of my little guy grow with each pitch. He squealed with delight as he raced for the bases, chased after fly balls, and his sister yelled from the sidelines, “Go Charlie! Go Charlie!”.
As I watched the utter glee of his face transition to intense seriousness as he listened and processed all he was learning. . . I decided that baseball really isn’t that bad after all. Something that produced so much excitement for him is certainly worth my effort and energy, isn’t it?
Baseball was just another reminder to us that spring is in the air. That we are slowly dipping out toe into the season of new life, growth, and change. A glimpse of a rare warm March afternoon pointed toward hope that there is more of this to come. More finding joy in the simple things of life. Basking in moments of togetherness that include sidewalk chalk, jaunts up and down the street, and big wheel races that begin with “On your marks. . . get set. . . go!”
They ran from one activity to the next as if the clock on spring was ticking and they had to get it all in before the buzzer. I reminded them that we have many months of the beauty of the outdoors before we are forced in by the harsh winter again. I encouraged them to slow down, enjoy it, and drink it all in.
I certainly did.