Monday, April 28, 2008

The Practice Game

The Evil Dictator's baseball season began this Saturday-- sort of. The game was a practice game.

They say that the first at-bat gives a foreshadowing of the season. Let's hope that's true; in his first at-bat, Adam smacked a nice solid single right into the gap in left center.

I was talking to some of the other parents about how the first few games can be painful to watch; the kids are rusty from having not played all winter. This game was no exception. There were misjudgments, misplays and other mistakes. The guys played hard, though, and went up in the score early in the game. It went back and forth until the other team got ahead by a point, beating our guys 8 to 7.





Adam's old coach stopped by to say hello to him.







The day was cold, but I enjoyed the game. As the game ended and Adam joined in the team meeting, I remembered playing whiffleball with a seven-year-old in the backyard. I remembered the day I signed an eight-year-old up for baseball for the first time on cold February morning in 2003. I remembered bringing him to his first practice, another cold, cold day, where he could hardly throw the baseball-- a far cry from the guy who can whip a baseball from right field to second base and put it on a dime.

Season by season, he becomes a little more independent. I'm certain that he's glad that my ex and I go to the games and practices, but more and more it's his own thing. He works on his stance, his fielding, his base-running, making observations and corrections. Every season, he runs into and reconnects with old teammates, who, though they're on other teams, he still shares the bond of a season past. Every season he moves a little more away from me and a little more toward being a man. That's the funny thing about being a parent-- if you do it right, your child is not a little mini-you, but their own unique person. They show streaks of you and the other parent, but in the end, your kid becomes this amazing, unique individual. As I watched him Saturday, it was bittersweet; I saw my little boy leaving and the young man arriving. I saw the day that he had his own life, independent of me, looming on the horizon. It made me happy, and a little sad.

9 comments:

'Bubbles' said...

I hear ya, JY! Thing 1 hops in the car and speeds off to the movies, school, the store... It makes me melancholy sometimes.

Then there's Thing 2... oy. She was supposed to be my easy kid, and I worry, worry, worry. She has become the detached teen (or tries and I fight her tooth and nail).

It is bittersweet, but if we play it right they will treat us right when we need our diapers changed. :D

GETkristiLOVE said...

Nice hit Adam! He even looks more like a man this season than last.

Prime Minister Dr.Evil said...

Anyone can put a baseball on a dime......

Bubs said...

Excellent post. You really know how to work the whole baseball-as-metaphor for life thing.

Mnmom said...

Love baseball - my only regret in having 3 daughters. I have to settle for fast pitch softball, but it's exciting in it's own way.

Watching them grow up is indeed bittersweet.

SkylersDad said...

Baseball is fun, but when are you going to get Adam into cage-fighting? That's where all the big money is you know... ;^)

Some Guy said...

Thanks for the memories. Baseball was such a huge part of growing up for me. It was the backbone of my social life. When I wasn't playing pick-up games during the week, I played organized stuff at night and on weekends. I loved it.

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

That is so cool you get to be a part of this with him. I wish my aunt and uncle would have allowed me to play little league instead of keeping us cooped up on their damn farm.

Jess Wundrun said...

Say, was that the nasty coach he had last year?