You know those moments in your life that make your heart bigger, bring a big smile to your face and leave you feeling ecstatic? Well, I had one of those moments last week and I wanted to share this with you.
This season we enrolled our oldest son in a baseball league. This is his first time playing the sport and I am sure that our yearly outing to an A’s game doesn’t count for much experience on the sport. As I have mentioned before he is not much of the athletic type and that is fine by me, but for the good of his health every season we’ve had him try a different sport hoping he will find the one he really likes. All we ask for is some physical activity for his own good. Over the years he’s done soccer, indoor soccer, basketball, flag football, jiu jitsu, swimming, and karate. Every time it has been more of the class-style. Not sure that is even the right way to call it but this is definitely the first time he is part of a league.
So a few weeks ago they started practicing, but with the weather we’ve had in the Bay the games kept getting canceled due to rain til this past Wednesday. I was so excited to see him with his full uniform, trying his best, having fun. My hope and the reality weren’t quite synching that day because earlier in the week he started with a severe toothache. He had to come from school early Tuesday and we had to make a visit to the dentist on Wednesday. It wasn’t something severe but he had pain that came in waves. We prepared as best as we could and he took some meds before the game.
First baseball game. Looking sharp. Oh how handsome he is! He played the first two innings. By the bottom of the third his toothache was back. I don’t recall ever experiencing toothache… earache yes, and it was so terrible. Tolerance to pain is different for all but for my lil man this was somewhere near the end of the world kinda pain. He just wanted to go home but I told him we needed to stay til the end. I know, what a great mom, ha? I knew he couldn’t take more medicine for at least two more hours so going home wouldn’t change much. And during the two days he had the pain it would just come and go. Sometimes with meds, sometimes without. I told him he needed to be at least a good team player and just cheer for his team. He did.
He sat the whole fourth inning. Just one more left til the game was over. A few of the boys noticed me coming over by the cage and talking to him. I had warned his coach before the game about it, but of course my son didn’t know that because he can be the kind who can use excuses to his advantage if you know what I mean. He asked to leave a few more times and I would just remind him to be a good team player and try to ignore the pain since he couldn’t take more medicine. I could notice the other boys worried about him. Checking on him. What’s up with Mario? He has a bad tootache and he just wants to crawl in bed and make it go away. Poor baby. I know, I know. But when you are a parent you know your child best. And as I mention he can be a smarty pants when it comes to excuses. Hang in there lil man, you got this!
It’s the top of the last inning. His team is up for batting. In fact, HE is up to bat. Of course little did I know that there is a batting order in place. Remember, first time playing the game here. And he does not want to do it. His coach knows he is uncomfortable with a toothache and he won’t force him to try. He is walking over to let the person (I don’t know some sort of official) know that the next batter can’t do it. While this is happening, his teammates are cheering on him. Telling him to try if he can. To just try his best. They are there to have fun as a team and they got his back even if he doesn’t hit a home run. So he goes for it. Wait, what?! He is up to bat ladies and gentlemen!
I was so proud of him because I knew he had excuses to bail yet he didn’t. He is of course not the strongest batter and that worried me because the game is tied. Two strikes. He has one last chance to score. My heart is raising. First pitch. Strike one. It’s ok papito, you got this! Second pitch. Strike two. It’s ok papito, you can do this! Third pitch. He swings and hits the ball but it only made him near him. And he is out running to first base. While he is on his way, the pitcher and catcher are scrambling to get the ball and throw it to first base. They do and while they are focused on striking him out, they don’t realize the boy who was in third has made it to home and scored one more run for the team. Yay, we are up by one! Meanwhile my son in base makes it just fine and he is safe BUT there is apparently some type of rule that because he ran towards the left and not the right he is now expected to make it to second. He is confused, so am I cuz remember we don’t know the game that well. His coach yells him to try to make it to second and there is the effort of it but they strike him out. It’s all good papito, you did it! You tried your best while you weren’t feeling your best. You helped the team score one more run. You didn’t quit and mommy is so proud of you!
It’s the bottom of the last inning and he gets to sit it out with his tootache reason. The team is hungry for a win and sure enough they get it. Three more strikes, no additional runs for the other team. We won! The coach gathers the team for a talk before dismissing everyone. First game, first won of the season. Yay! He thanks everyone for their effort. Good pep talk coach. After every game they pick an MVP which allows everyone an opportunity since we know there are days when we go above and beyond and days where we drag along. He has a ball with a message: “3/13/19 – Cakes vs Rockhound – Mario – MVP”. He hands it to my son. He feels so proud of himself, and so are we!
With or without that MVP recognition for that game, I would have been equally proud of my lil man. As I said, we get to know our children in ways others don’t. I know the amount of energy it takes him to show up for this kind of things because he hasn’t fell in love with any sports yet. I appreciate his effort. I wish he tried harder sometimes but I don’t want to impose anything on him. At least not something that isn’t worth our time, energy and effort. I want him to be more active and I feel is my job to present him with as many options as needed until he finds something he loves. I am sure we will get there some day. For now, I can tell you the season has started, and I look forward to see him giving this sport a chance.
Mama Bear Kim