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.

All this talk of food

We’ve been cooped up for years. Okay, that’s an exaggeration but sometimes the long days feel like years. The cold weather keeps us in and the lack of things to do with a large family, keeps us away from things. Let’s just say, it’s never a good idea to take 5 children into a place like an arcade. It never, ever ends well. So except for a couple of playdates and pre planned adventures, we’ve mostly been throwing the football inside the house (grumble) and watching crap TV. Oh and eating.

I like to take the cold days and bake. The oven helps keep our kitchen warm. It never seems to stay that way. Who ever built the house’s addition, I don’t think they insulated it properly. Everyone loves the bread. We made two loaves yesterday. One was lovely and the other was like a soapy lemon bar. Barf. It called for Lemon Essential Oils, and I added way to much.

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The kids cleaned up to the good loaf in about 27 seconds. Completely warm, covered in butter and honey. Knowing how much they love it, I want to make it for them every day. A labor of love. Unfortunately, I only have enough honey for one more loaf till grocery day. Luckily, well, depending how you look at it, they go back to school today and so not as much bread will be eaten.

We love food. It’s probably why, despite the baby being darn near, two, I’m still carrying the extra 10/20 pounds. I like to cook for the most part. My family isn’t that excited about many of the things I try and make. My husband specifically has issue with meals without meat. I try and avoid those now. But one this we love is guacamole and they say I am pretty darn good at it around here. I might even be the best.

I don’t really have a “recipe” but here is how I make it.

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What you need:

  • 5/6 ripe avocados
  • 1 medium size plum tomato, chopped
  • 1 medium size red onion, chopped
  • 1 medium size jalapeno, chopped and seeded or if you like heat, leave the seeds in
  • 2-4 limes, fresh
  • Cilantro
  • Garlic, cloves or if you’re like me, in a jar
  • Salt
  • Garlic Salt

Cut and peel avocados. Add remaining ingredients and mash with a masher. Stir in lime, salt and garlic salt to taste. Easy.

I tend to use more garlic and lime because I like that tanginess but be sure to taste with the “vessel” you’ll be serving your guacamole with. A salty chip mixed with salt guacamole is a bad idea. So you have a fine line.

And eat it in one day, because I don’t care how many tricks are out there to keep it fresh, I think the metallic taste you get from old guacamole will ruin it as soon as a day after.

It’s our favorite. And I hope you like it too.

Food says “I love you” here. Knowing what keeps my little people’s bellies happy, makes me happy. I love teaching them how to mix and measure and finding out whether one likes coconut while another is more fond of banana. I love how knowing what they like, I can give them some personalized attention, with a cookie or a slice of warm bread or even a bowl of dip while we watch their favorite movies. And it’s these little bits of knowledge that I will tuck away for when they’re far away at college or wherever and need a tiny taste of home. I think food is a big part of happy family memories.

I fondly remember as a child going to my Grandma E’s house. She’s always have lemon cookies and cheese for your broccoli. We’d often have lunch together and talk. I can remember the first time she met my future husband. Twirling the thick noodles of The Blue Parrot and teasing him he needed to eat more. Many of my memories of her are tied to food. And all are good, wholesome and love filled. From pizzelles to Furr’s Cafeteria to a half baked meatloaf my mom made, she finished and we shared to celebrate the birth of my sister. I miss her very much.

Fond memories and food. Such good things. What are your fondest recipes and the memories that go with them?

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.

Afraid

findyourself-01Today I got feedback from a Fiverr client that my drawing for them was too childish. I was sort of taken aback by it because if you look through my portfolio, everything is childish. Literally everything.

My proportions are never just right. My color choices are often straight out of a crayola box. There is no doubting my art when you see it. It’s childish. I know that. I know  but the sting of hearing someone didn’t like something I *love* and though, even after looking through my portfolio, that is was too childish, made me feel like I have no idea what I am doing. That I’m too “childish” to do any good.

I put mostly all my photography on the back burner. I pulled my Facebook page after the holidays and stopped both marketing and accepting new clients. I will, only take who I want and do the preschools I love but that’s it. No more weddings. No more babies. Shutting that door was hard for me. Even if it’s still cracked open slightly. I couldn’t take it. I couldn’t make it. I couldn’t watch as I was barely staying afloat. I couldn’t figure out how to market or edit or sell myself. I couldn’t get past my own doubt. Or my idea that I wasn’t good enough. I couldn’t  get paid, I couldn’t charge right, I couldn’t book and I just couldn’t anymore. My feelings got far too tangled inside a business. I should’ve left it a hobby. Because me and business? We do nothing hand and hand.

I failed at my photography business because I sabotaged myself. Well my stupid brain did.

Now, moving forward I’ve fallen back into working graphic stuff. I say stuff because I really have no idea what I am doing most of the time. I am totally, 100% self taught. I watched YouTube and read a lot and I hoped and prayed I was delivering the right file types. And I don’t reach outside the logos I sell on Fiverr because I don’t know how to deliver a business card that’s universal. What if I send the wrong thing and I have done all that work and now they want their money back? And no one ever picks me on 99 Design but I keep at it even though each elimination is like a stabbing. It’s all squished up in my head. It’s like a big, brain shaped road block. Because let’s face it. I’m really, really afraid.

Afraid.

What makes it easy for some and hard for others? I watch people do it all the time. People who are no more trained than me, or talented than me. Most of the time they’re just like me. So why, why aren’t they so afraid they just can’t start? How do they beat the scary monster.

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I’ve applied to a ton of different places. Target, Giant and other local places. I had one interview last year at a place I really, really wanted to work but because of the schedule, we decided it just wouldn’t work for our family. So this, this is my job until my availability opens up or I can figure out how to go 24 hours a day without sleep. Staying home sometimes makes me feeling guilty. I’m not a great housekeeper and there are many days when I make something frozen for dinner. I read too much. Trying to figure out how to start. Trying to make sure I am doing it right so that I don’t end up cleaning up messes from not having any real training. And I like to play trains more than I like to do the dishes. But I don’t work and when we struggle, I often feel like it’s my fault. Because I don’t provide anything but child care and worry.

And I LOVE my art. I love it. I am very proud of it, most of the time. I can’t imagine people don’t get tired of seeing it but I loved to show the process. And I love to hear when it brings other people joy. I just wish I could get away from my monster and use it to really better my family. Because that’s all I want. To make sure my family it okay. I keep taking the classes and reading the books but I am afraid to really jump in. Because I am so afraid to fail.

So I wonder? How did you beat your scary monster. Even if he was just a two dimension, mint green, grinning idiot? How do you get over the scary hill? How can I just do it, go for and stop letting the fear of failing win. Because I really want to leave a mark somewhere, even if it’s just my own notebook, in my desk….

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.