How to be a good baseball player

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When Davis started baseball he had this cute overbite smile and a joyful heart. I’d chase him around the tee ball field and look forward to every bat, every toss and every game. He is the reason I fell in love with baseball. Him and his joy. His tee ball years were fun but I was naive in the world of sports and without knowing that you register in the fall for spring ball, I missed a year throwing him far back in the game. When he moved up to the minors, he was so far behind they asked to keep him back a year. We agreed and so began my struggles as a baseball mom.

He loves it. Loves every minute of it. But there is something about baseball that requires “things”. The right pants, the right helmet, the right gloves and the right bats. He had none of those but the biggest thing he was missing was a travel team and a weekly, private lesson. I had no idea how important these things were to grow ball players.

He played one, short summer on a travel team. We were invited because of some lovely friends. It was a great summer with a wonderful group of coaches and a lot of nice boys. We have amazing memories because of it and he took away some amazing skills. But by the time he entered the majors, I knew we’d failed him. One summer of travel was never going to catch him up. And this year, I felt a lump in my throat watching the 7th graders try out for school teams. Watching boys I know are amazing ball players get turned away made me realize, my son, so far behind doesn’t have a chance in hell. And it’s a shame.

He’s a good ball player. And I am sad they’ll miss that about him. Davis plays hard. He practices every chance he gets. Old Mom can’t get over the fear of his fast pitch  and well, I can’t pitch to bat and so he gets what he can in at the fields and when his dad isn’t at work. With five children, we’re busy. It doesn’t leave a lot of time to toss balls. And lessons are expensive, so I’ve limited him to twice a month. But his skills aren’t what make him good. It’s not that he can throw a fastball or that he’s got a mean swing, even when he’s whacking at the high ones. What makes him a good ball player is all inside.

He’s coachable. I can see his face light up when the coach comes over to help him. He can’t wait to hear how he can do better. And he listens and does what he’s told. Yes, he needs reminding but he respects his coaches and their time and he does what they say and does it with a smile.

He pays attention to his team mates. This year, a new boy joined. His literal first year playing baseball. He noticed his bat had no grip and without hesitation offered up the grip I’d just bought him. He knew this boy needed it more than he did. And he wanted to help his new friend. It was his first thought. He’s always the kid calling from the outfield and the dugout and he always tells his opponents good game. And, I have never heard him crap on a fellow player, even though I’ve witnessed it happen to him. He knows there is no *I* in team. And he wants to be part of a team.

He respects the game. He follows and learns the rules. He’s respectful to the umpires and the fields. And he knows that a spot on the team isn’t just handed to you. He knows you have to earn it. I respect that about him.

I pray for him. A lot lately. That he’ll not beat himself up over a hitless game or that he didn’t get asked to try out for a travel league. I pray that he knows if he never sets foot on a school field that he can still play ball somewhere. And he should, as long as he loves it. I pray that the pressure, insane as it may be, doesn’t wreck it for him. That he doesn’t let a rough season or a mean kid steal his love. And I pray he knows, that even if he always plays in the outfield, that it’s important and we’re proud of him… outfield, pitcher or the kid warming the bench.

I have to pray for myself too. That I stop getting caught up in orange bats and bullshit gossip. This week’s hot ticket is my “nasty divorce”. It doesn’t matter if the other mothers like me, it’s just matters that we all get along so we can be part of our boys’ teams and makes sure they’re getting out of baseball what they should be. I pray that I always remember to thank our coaches for their time, their knowledge and remember that they’re people too. People who make mistakes. And who deserve grace. And I have to pray that I can cut myself some slack when I feel like I have failed my son. I’m there, and that’s not a fail.

I love baseball. I think I’ll always love it. And I thank Davis for starting that.

 

 

Hi! I'm Gail, the voice behind Mimicking Motherhood. I started blogging after the birth of my 2nd child as a way to connect with far away family. Things have definitely changed since then. Now, mama to five, this is a place to help connect with other mothers, who feel like me.I love to make and write all while trying to figure out how to be myself in the world of anxiety and depression. Glad you stopped by.

The craft of caring

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I sat in the lobby of the surgical center yesterday watching Dixon play with a really cool Little Tykes kitchen. We had to go in for dental work. He’s the fourth who’s had early issues with dental caries. Something I feel embarrassed writing because of the stigma of tooth decay and what we feed our children. But we sat there at 6am, waiting for Doctor Carlos, praying that his teeth weren’t infected and watching other families walk in the doors so very early in the morning. One by one, families filed in. Checking in at the desk. Some with one child and some with many. Dixon played happily beside a little girl and her much older brother who looked to be about Davis’ age. I could see he had some delay, I suspect autism but I am not a doctor and it really isn’t my place to assume. He was kind and curious and I enjoyed watching them all play.

When it was our time to go back, it was his too. And while we sat and played with toys, I listened as the staff and family pleaded with this young man to take the medicine to start anestesia. He refused, over and over. And my heart broke for them knowing what I knew was coming next.

I handed my little baby over to the nurse and walked out and watched a tearful mom give the okay to force the meds into her child.

You could hear him crying in the lobby and I couldn’t help but feel her pain. To be a mama, making these choices for a boy who couldn’t himself. Listening to him cry was awful for ME, I cannot imagine how awful it was for her. And I sat there and watched the lobby grimace and cringe and comment and I just wanted to hug her and tell her, “we are all in this together”… even though I know, sometimes we’re not.

My 20 month old didn’t cry. He didn’t make a sound. He went peacefully into the arms of nurses and smiled with a fat, swollen face as I walked in the door when the procedure was done. I was glad he was okay but I wondered how the other mama was and I regret not talking to her before I left. I was eager to pick up my child and forgot briefly about hers.

I wanted to be her village. I wanted to be part of her tribe, even if it was for that day.

Motherhood is lonely enough. It’s especially lonely for me sometimes because I struggle with interactions and overthinking. I’m uncomfortable with myself, it’s a shame. My earth mother inside wants to love everyone but I am often caught up in my own issues and worry that instead of doing the good I want, I am just eating shoe leather. Because let’s face it, I am the queen of putting my foot in my own mouth. I have  a heart for people but sometimes it’s really locked inside my chest. I am eager to please but easily hurt. Willing to give but often used. And I get stuck in things and I am sure that exhausts people. I just don’t know how to get out of them.

But I think often about why people are so awful to each other? And it’s not just mothers. It’s everyone.

Bleeding heart I guess.

I am often disgusted at how people behave. I think I may need to ground myself from Facebook. I rely on it for social interaction (hello introvert who needs a friend, paradise) but I just can’t handle some of it anymore. Watching how gross people act and how close minded they can be. It’s disheartening especially when I know these people know we’re suppose to love one another…. even when we don’t like each other. I’m sure I’ve alienated myself from friends from stupid facebook share. In fact, I am sure of it. It’s apparent when people stop responding. When the calls stop and when the messages and what not go unanswered. We ALL have to start thinking about what we post, what we share and if it’s worth clicking that stupid button. I need to think about it too.

It’s a tough place. Tough indeed.

Hi! I'm Gail, the voice behind Mimicking Motherhood. I started blogging after the birth of my 2nd child as a way to connect with far away family. Things have definitely changed since then. Now, mama to five, this is a place to help connect with other mothers, who feel like me.I love to make and write all while trying to figure out how to be myself in the world of anxiety and depression. Glad you stopped by.

The fun in saying no…

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This week was suppose to be a slow one. One lacrosse game, baseball on the same day. Nothing outside the ordinary. Quickly it turned into a third visit to the orthodontist for spacers. Then an extra long visit to get the braces on followed by a fit filled visit to library for speech. Topped off with a nutty baby at Davis’ first private baseball lesson. Plus more stuff at the end of this week and it just felt like days got dumped into days. Just to add some extra fun, I thought to myself, I am gonna try and eat better because I cannot look like this anymore. So I decided to cut the carbs and now all I can think about is food and why I have to say no to eating.

I may die. I am not even kidding.

Basically my diet consists of pancakes or waffles, goldfish crackers, pb&j and then whatever I make for dinner. Toss in the occasional large Chick Fil A lemonade and I am a bonafide contender in the diabetic races. I will be taking insulin before you know it. Not funny I know, diabetes is serious and that’s just another reason why I can’t live on carbs and sugar anymore. But, what do I eat now?

Insert My Fitness Pal.

Biggest mistake ever. Tracking is a bad idea for me. Bad.

Take yesterday. It tells me in order to lose a pound a week I can eat 1700 calories a day. So me? In my head that means I have to hoard those calories. Every single one because what if I have to eat something silly, like dinner? And because I just spent several hundred dollars meal prepping, I have to make sure that I have enough calories left over at dinner time to cover the probable carb laden dish I have prepared for my family.

An apple with 2 tablespoons of peanut butter has 200 calories. TWO HUNDRED. This seems like a swimming pool of weight gain in my head (even though I know, logically that it’s not). So then I think all day, well, maybe I will just eat lettuce but then that logic pops in again and thinks you cannot live on lettuce alone. But cheese? Well My Fitness Pal warns you it’s a high fat food and I certainly can’t use this dressing because it is like sprinkling my salad with pure cane sugar.

So basically for four days, all I have thought about was food.

And I am insane. And I just want some goddamn goldfish crackers and a large lemonade.

12472765_10110434826850234_1072606930442487224_nBut this? This is my ass and that is the best side. From the front, I look about 5 months pregnant and I can’t keep my jeans up enough to cover my “mom of five and very lazy” muffin top. I’m chubby and I can’t take it. I don’t think I can take another summer at baseball with all the hot yoga moms while I look like a burnt marshmallow. And let’s be honest, I would like to wear something other than black but when you feel like a heifer, black is where it is at.

So this is hard. And in four days I haven’t stayed totally clean either. I forget and I eat the Goldfish that fell off the plate or lick the frosting off my hand after I cut Davis a piece of ice cream cake. I am not sure I have the mentality to break myself of these things because I can’t find things I like to replace them. When you’re a crazy person who doesn’t eat simple things like eggs or yogurt or drink protein shakes, you seem to be screwed in the land of healthy weight loss. I mean it takes a miracle for me to suck down a smoothy and those are supposed to be good. I can’t imagine adding protein of chai or flax seed.

God someone help me.

I cannot afford to stockpile almonds and protein bars.

So there it is. Me, crazy. Yup crazy.

I picked the worst week ever for this. WORST WEEK EVER.

Thankfully, I am sitting here alone. First time all week. My husband took my four, very loud boys to the park. I should shower. But let’s be real here…. I just want to read crappy articles online and pretend to eat the food I want instead of the stuff I am well, not eating while I read crappy internet articles.

It will not be a good week. I will warn you now if you see me, turn around.. it’s not worth it.

Hi! I'm Gail, the voice behind Mimicking Motherhood. I started blogging after the birth of my 2nd child as a way to connect with far away family. Things have definitely changed since then. Now, mama to five, this is a place to help connect with other mothers, who feel like me.I love to make and write all while trying to figure out how to be myself in the world of anxiety and depression. Glad you stopped by.