I’m a woman who likes to stay busy. Luckily, I married a man who is the same. With three kids who are very close in age, there is always something going on. In fact, when we show some people our calendar or talk about our weeks, some may think we’re insane. Since as young as they were able, my kids have participated in activities like art lessons. They have all done sports such as baseball, basketball, soccer, dance, and gymnastics, to name a few.
All this said, I always told myself that I would let the kids guide the way with activities. I assumed that eventually, some interest would fade, and each would enjoy maybe one or two extracurriculars. I could not picture any of my kids, except for my little guy, who is still too young, participating in anything too competitive; it would all just be for fun.
Well, let me tell you, I was wrong.
This summer, we stumbled into a new realm in athletics. My oldest son made the 8-year-old tournament team for his baseball league. I grew up with a brother who was an all-star athlete, and I have watched my daughter perform in four ballet recitals now, so I felt pretty prepared for what to expect. It turns out I was not ready.
First, baseball consumed over a month of our summer. I understand how this might sound miserable, but we quickly began to live for it the way I live for dance recital week! On an evening off, we found ourselves missing being at the field.
Second, there is nothing that can be done to prepare your heart for the amount of pride you feel when it’s your child who makes an awesome play or drives in the go-ahead run or the lump in your throat when the ball is headed their way, or they’re down in the count up at bat.
Third, yes, I screamed and jumped out of my seat. I paced, and I covered my eyes. My heart sank at tough losses, and we celebrated big wins. The best, though, was watching my son grow up a little bit; to watch him realize that he worked hard, and it paid off. He gained confidence and a little clout. He learned about comradery and being a team player.
I know now that this is just the first summer of many that we’ll be spending at the ball field, and I’ll gladly take on those nerves and that pride for each of my kids as they compete, doing things they love.