Wednesday

I Call Him Slugger



My son is playing baseball. For the first time.

He's got muddy cleats.

A sweat-stained baseball hat.

He's learned to spit. And adjust.

He surprised us with a love for the game and a small competitive streak.

Huge strides considering he used to be a cross dresser.

He's done pretty good too.  

Until last week's game.  He struck out three times.  In a row.

On the third strikeout he took off his batting helmet, threw it to the ground and stomped away.

Not exactly honoring the YMCA sportsmanship pledge on the back of his jersey.

My daughter had a volleyball game going on at the same time, so I missed the spectacle.

But my hubby did not.  He coached him thru his bad attitude and encouraged him out of quitting.  They worked on batting during the week a time or two. And his big sister even encouraged him with stories of her sports failures.  Although she had few, she made sure she mentioned seven times.

I reminded him that everyone has off days and it was just part of the game.

My hubby and I switched places for the next game and he went with my daughter to volleyball and I followed my son to the baseball field.  

He was called first to bat. 

I wrung my hands nervously.  

Since this is YMCA ball, they give the little guys about six pitches. 

The first five, he swung and missed.  

Now, to everyone else this was not a big deal, but I knew it was huge to my little boy.

And I'm telling ya'll, I prayed and begged so hard, it was just plain wrong.  I mean, The God of the Universe was surely busy on that humid Saturday morning.  But I was desperate and so was my son's self esteem.

I had my first hot flash on the sidelines.  I rocked back and forth in my seat, willing him to hit the ball.

On the sixth pitch he made contact.  

I stood up and screamed like one of THOSE moms.  I made a complete fool of myself. I almost did a cartwheel.

Be glad I didn't, mkay?

And there were tears, ya'll, real tears. I just couldn't help myself. The look of relief on my son's face was huge.

He didn't make any major plays and was caught once picking flowers in the outfield.  But he felt like a winner because he persevered. At one point, he held up the game and in front of all the parents said confidently, "Hey Mom, could you squirt water down my back? I'm working hard here."

Ahhh, my boy was back and he was  real slugger.

And call me crazy, but I think God was in the stands.

46 comments:

Carolina Mama said...

Precious! Just too sweet - working hard here!"

MoziEsmé said...

Way to go!

Joy said...

What a darling boy!!! And what a proud Momma... I have no idea what Mom I'll be on the sidelines. I'm usually really quiet but I think I might've screamed too!

The Apron Queen said...

Yea for him! Soccer reigns at our house. Practice started this week. Let the circus begin! :)

Beachy Mimi said...

Yay! I totally understand your wringing hands, hot flash and urge to cry. Been there. When they hit that ball (finally)it is such a great relief! I'm glad you were there to see it.

Cheri-Beri said...

Hee hee!! Don't they all eventually pick flowers in the outfield? My son did - only it was when he was on the field playing soccer.

Good for your son :-) My son tests for his next karate belt on Friday and I'll be there cringing and praying to myself.

Cheri-Beri said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Poopsie said...

What a change. I remember the cross dressing post. His dad must be soo happy. :)
I have shed a tear or two at my kids' achievements. I understand what you were going through. No shame in a few shed tears.
Cindy P :)

Fawn said...

Check out those calf muscles-dang!

marky said...

This mom stuff gets harder all the time..
Way to go Slugger.

nosmallthing said...

That is AWESOME! My son is playing for the first time this fall, too. He played t-ball last year, but you know, he had a T to rely on. I wonder how he'll handle this...

iPost said...

Can you send God over our way next Spring? My son (11) had a difficult time transitioning to the older league this year and struck out 95% of the time. He got to the point when he would not even swing the bat and would watch the balls go bye. It was PAINFUL for him, my husband and me. So, yeah, we could borrow God next spring!

atrailerparkmom said...

Yay!! Way to go!

Threeundertwo said...

I was noticing those calf muscles - does he bike a lot or something?

I know what it's like to sit in the stands and absolutely stop breathing for 4 minutes. It's a mom thing.

Christine said...

Wow! Look at the boy's calves.
What would this world be without praying mamas. Congrats to your son for his hit!

Caution Flag said...

I really do think kids' sports can be tougher on the parents than the kids at times. Glad he connected, though, for a grand ending.

Tales From the Eurovan said...

Great story! Made me want to stand up and cheer!(as I'm sure most moms of kids in sports do)
Take care,
Julie

Amy-littletoesandcheerios said...

Way to go!! I love the "adjust" comment!
One thing I've learned so far about being a mom is you never know when the tears are comin' & you can't stop it!

Tammy said...

We went through the exact same thing with our son when he was 5. He was just trying to figure out his place in the sports world when we tried YMCA baseball. Every time he would strike out he would drop his shoulders, hand his head down and drag the bat back to the dugout.

I think we got 1 hit that year and we screamed like it was a grand slam.
Of course, we've not played baseball since.

Valarie said...

Oh I know that feeling so well of praying in the stands. They can be so hard on themselves.

Dawn said...

Been there, done that years ago. Only ours was a soccer field!

And, the seasons and sports may change... but that "in the stands, mama's heart" never does.

Lynn said...

I was hanging on your every word....precious.

Way to go!!!

Favaunt said...

Ain't it fun! Being a screaming, hand-wringing,teary eyed "sport Mom". Love the picture.

Lisa Knight said...

Great job!

And the picking flowers thing won't stop until he is hit with a ball or outgrows it, just a life lesson from a coaches wife. Our outfield was dandelion free by the end of the season.

The Source said...

What a wonderful moment for your little boy. There's nothing like the feeling of not giving up and finally getting it right! Congrats to him!

a Tonggu Momma said...

At least he was picking flowers instead of his nose... because if he got hit by a ball, he might require surgery if his finger was up his nostril.

Bina said...

Yea or sluggler! And this is just SO sweet! We all want our kids to have that feeling of pride and accomplishment. You are such a good mom.

Jamie @ Purposeful Pursuit said...

Oh...it's so good to be a mom on the sidelines.
Way to go slugger!

LifeatTheCircus said...

I have yet to attend one of my child's sporting events, but we have soccer starting up very soon for my 4 year old. I can only imagine how loudly I'll be screaming for him. :-)

Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates said...

That is so great! I totally understand. My son has been playing baseball for a couple of years and is not a natural athlete, so I've been nervous in the stands many times. But he has improved so much and is really enjoying it!

Have fun!

Nancy said...

awww. Your tears brought on some from me too. GO SLUGGER! :)

Becoming Me said...

You are an awesome mom!!

T with Honey said...

You should be proud of yourself and your entire family. He learned some valuable lessons and did some lifelong character building. I bet God was smiling from the stands.

mama wants more said...

Great story. I feel your pain. My boy just started flag football and hasn't caught a single ball. It's killing all of us, but I just keep that smile on my face and my fingers crossed behind my back.

Natalie said...

yeah for answered prayer!!!

On The Verge said...

I just found your blog today. What fun I have had! I added your button to mine so I can come back and visit!

common mom said...

Awwwwwwwww! My Dude played his first summer of Y baseball this year as well. Yes, he struck out, yes he got caught picking dandelions . . . but man did he have fun! And boy did I yell when he hit the ball or made a play :-) That's what we moms do, right? We're always their biggest fan :-)

Lisa J said...

Oh how sweet. Isn't it hard to watch them struggle? But yet life is so full of struggles and we have to learn from them. Lesson well taught and well learned. Yes, God was in the stands that day, and God was there the other day too!

Gin said...

There's nothing wrong with being one of those moms - we all are when our babies are out there.
I'm a loud, mouthy, cheerin' (volleyball and soccer) momma and proud of it. (Within reason, of course. NOT counting those mothers that are screaming INSULTS at their own children or the coaches. I'm not one of THOSE mommas.)
Keep cheering!

cathy | Mommy Motivation said...

I haven't been there yet - the sports mama thing. But I was right there at your son's game, reading that! I was practically crying when he hit that. lol
Awesome writing, Kristen. I'm in awe once again! And I'm feeling proud of your son too. And a little weird.

~ Cathy

Jennie said...

"Hey Mom, could you squirt water down my back? I'm working hard here."
What a crack-up! Hey, I gave you an award today. Because you are pretty awesome. Or pretty and awesome. Take your pick.

D... said...

Ah, yes, I live those days every fall & spring. And I pray every time my son goes up to bat. Like you, I felt God was too busy to help a boy hit a ball, but I was desperate. I wanted my son to feel successful & that his hard work was paying off. He's had a l.o.n.g. batting slump. He finally got out of it, but I find myself still praying every time...

ispeakbeanish said...

Good for him for plugging away at it! He's building those life skills! Even if he didn't say, I'm sure he was proud of his mom in the stands cheering him on.

The Fritz Facts said...

I love the excitment of baseball and young kids. Hitting the ball, cathing the ball or running home are a huge deal. It makes the game so much more fun.

Muthering Heights said...

What an exciting moment!

Summer said...

Aww, how exciting!