Ten for Ten

Ten for Ten

Sandlot baseball is among us. Many have moved on to bigger fields, middle school ball..or even high school ball. Regardless of the diamond it is arguably one of the best times of the year. Grass is getting greener, honeysuckle is on its way, and the dirt stains on your kids’ pants from them sliding brings an odd amount of joy. This past Sunday we (my oldest son) had a little scrimmage game. The odds were against him on the mound. It wasn’t made for his stature, and the fact that he hasn’t practiced pitching since October came together to make it an epic disaster. His effort was at one hundred percent. His composure was at one hundred percent. His balls-to-strike ratio, well let’s just say it was less than desirable. I ached watching him through the chain link fence. I wanted to make the mound bigger, I wanted the coach to pull him, to save him from the embarrassment. I cheered for every strike and gave a “shake it off kid” for every wild pitch. The game finally ended and the ride home was his dad and my best attempt at encouragement. Even so, he had it stuck in his mind there was an expectation unmet due to his pitching. We left the conversation at the truths of the day. We are proud, you are only ten, and all we will ever expect is your best, in all things, not just sports. I went in to cook supper and a friend came over for a bible study. She walked in and said “what’s Andy doing? He hasn’t stopped running since I pulled up.” I looked out of the window at what I later learned was his last lap. When he walked in I asked why was he running so much outside. “Mom, across the yard and back is one. I did ten laps. One for every run I gave up today. My team expected more from me, and even though it was my best, they expected more. So I ran for the runs I gave up, I ran for my team.” After a long pause with the most dumbfounded blank stare, I told him I loved him and to go wash up. Watching him through the fence that day was painful. I hurt for him, and I wanted to take the “failure” away, but thank goodness I didn’t because those ten runs made him better, and without a doubt, my kids’ response to those ten runs made me better. Keep getting better- Coach Mama


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