Adventures & Baseball

I’m convinced that an Adventurer lives down deep within me.  The pattern of my life has proven it so.

I’ve sprinted through the Washington Dulles airport alone to catch a flight to Luxembourg, my home during the spring semester of my junior year at Miami.  I’ve summited two fourteeners in the Rockies and hiked over the Continental Divide.   I’ve been slalom water skiing since I was 9, and I was fluent in Italian in elementary school.  Adventurer is deep in there.

Something about adventures draws me in.  I love accomplishment, and I love telling the story.  This happened, and then we saw this, and then, and then, and then.  There’s so much world out there, and I just don’t want to miss it.  Maybe that’s why raising boys is so much fun for me?  I love it when Zeke wants to get off of his bike just to watch water rush down into the street grate.  I love to watch Max try and try to shoot a one-handed jumper in the driveway and then finally swish it.   And I love to listen to Cole describe his latest Lego thingamabobber, complete with blasters and other whatsamajiggers.

So Cole.  He asked to join a baseball team this spring.  The adventurer in me felt elated at his interest!  The mom in me freaked out.  I played softball for years growing up, and loved it.  So I felt this mix of weirdness swell in me as baseball season approached.

I had butterflies and knots in my stomach on the day of practice number one.  So much so that I’d planned for all five of us to show up early, survey the scene, meet the coach, and then I’d take off for the playground with M and Z while Chris stayed to watch the {possible mess} practice.  The adventurer in me was hiding.  I was scared that Cole wouldn’t know what to do, even though we play catch and he can hit the ball when Chris pitches to him.  I was scared that the other kids would run Cole down, either verbally or literally, even though I know Cole is confident with friends at school.  And I was scared that instead of teaching him, the players and coaches would just assume he should be “good enough” by now since he’s 8. After all, most kids start sports these days when they’re barely walking…sheesh.  Real fears, but mostly with no real evidence to back them up.

Fast forward a few practices, and Cole has crushed my expectations and fears.  I’m not calling my mom to process from the playground any more while Chris is at practice with Cole, texting me everything that happens.  I can actually watch and enjoy it!  The coach is positive, and he’s a good instructor.  Cole is on par with most kids on his team.  He hits the ball, he can field a ground ball, and he can throw it to 1st.  He’s responding to what the coach is teaching him, and I’ve noticed a few times when Cole isn’t quite sure what to do next, he runs up to the coach, asks a question, and moves forward.  Deep sigh of relief.

I’m proud of Coleman for stepping into a new baseball experience.   An adventurer must be in him too, and I’m sure one day it will get mixed in with fear and weirdness, as it did for me.  No matter, it’s worth it.  There’s so much world out there, and I just don’t want him to miss it.

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