Covid shut down last baseball season before it even started. Our twins were almost 5; it was the first season they were eligible to play tee ball, and the big kid was ready for his second year of instructional ball. Our oldest son had started open gyms, and was gearing up for his third season when everything shut down.
This year looks a little different than what we’re used to (doesn’t everything?) but we are glad to be back. Our big kid started open gyms in March, and we’ve had outdoor practices for the last two weeks. The twins will wait two more weeks to start, but it’s been incredible to see my biggest boy back on the field with his team where he belongs. Despite missing a whole season on a team (don’t worry- we still played plenty at home last summer!), his skills are brushing up nicely.
I didn’t realize how much I’d missed hanging out at the fields, sitting on the sidelines for practices and games, making small talk with other baseball mamas, until we got back after spending so much time away from it. Last year was a chance to slow down on extracurricular activities, which just left more time to keep busy at home. I had forgotten about the calm that comes when you force yourself to sit outside on a spring or summer evening watching your kid do what they love. I’m not always great at remembering to slow down and enjoy my kids; I’m guilty of being in a constant rush of “doing:” cooking meals, cleaning up, focusing on my own list instead of enjoying time with my boys. And while I’m writing this from a cozy spot next to the ball field during practice, I’m still paying attention to what’s going on on the field. I can hear the coaches encouraging him, pushing him to reach his full potential, showing him how to fine tune his form. I can hear him calling a popup his to catch, shouting encouraging words to his teammates, breathing heavily after a few laps around the outfield. And I can see the elation on his face as he finds his place on the field, doing one of the things he loves and does so well.
This little taste of normal makes such a difference after a year that took so much from us. Some of the kids might be a little rusty, but their love of the game is shining through and warming this mama’s heart. So, while you might hear me grumbling about what I’m going to cook for dinner on a night when we have to be at the ball fields at 5:30, please know that underneath my exterior crabby persona, I’m excited that my boys are all interested in the same sport…for now, at least. Which means, if you need me, I’ll be spending my spare time crafting this wreath I’ve been coveting for our front door.
And if you ring our doorbell and we don’t answer…
…check the ball fields.