40 Reflections #36: 40 days of raw recollections during the Lenten Season
All the stars were aligned for a baseball game tonight. The weather was ideal, the parking lot was nearly empty and unriddled with invented parking spaces, parents had their multi-cup-holding chairs set up, and the kids were spirited and ready.
While standing behind the backstop, I spoke to an elderly woman who said, “Oh, that must be your son.” Perhaps she heard me shout things like, “wait for your pitch, good cut,” you get the idea. Or maybe it was because I had a camera pointed directly at him. “Yes, it is” I responded. “My grandson is next to bat” she continued. We chatted further about how fortunate she feels to be able to watch the games and see her grandson. I added how I love hanging out near the dugout where I can hear conversations boys have about pitchers, snacks, and “lit” pro players. She said she wondered if the kids enjoyed the games as much as we did.
While we sat, we could hear one player in the dugout bellowing out textbook baseball chatter, “Come on kid, you’ve got this, you’re going to do great kid, wait for your pitch kid.” The encouragement was nonstop and straight from the heart. The same player hollered inspirational words from center field to my son as he pitched. The other boys began the chanting also, and suddenly it was as if the players were virtually boosting each other on their shoulders with positive baseball jargon. As the game went on, there were errors, strikeouts, base hits, doubles, and fly balls. But with each play, the sentiment remained positive, and I couldn’t help but think the credit should go to the cheering player whose curly-hair held his cap high on his head, much like his enthusiasm.
At the bottom of the last inning, I walked over to say goodbye to the sweet grandmother, and as a base hit brought our team ahead by three points, she admitted, “I can’t believe I get butterflies like the boys.” “Me too.” I agreed, telling her my heart rate also zooms when the excitement builds for anything my kids do. Before she rolled her wheelchair away, she smiled and said, “You know, we are both good moms.” “Thank you,” I replied, touched I had my own cheerleader. After all, moms need to raise each other up as well.
Honestly, the best part of baseball is watching the boys put their thoughts aside, play ball, endure each run and out, and lean on each other for support. Personally, I wish the curly-headed player would yell out to me each morning, “Come on kid, we can do this life thing kid, we got this kid!!”