Saturday, October 31, 2009

Little League

I've had a Little League post brewing in my brain for quite a while. For various reasons it hasn't come together. Primarily because 1. all of my free time is spent at baseball games, and 2. by the time I have time to sit down and write, all of my thoughts leave me. It becomes an incoherent jumble so I don't even try.

We started way back in early September. We had one practice and then it rained for 3 weeks straight. The way the schedule was organized, all of the practices were at the beginning, followed by mostly games with minimal practices thrown in. Each team has one weekday game and one Saturday game. Most weeks this puts us at the ball field 3 nights, and at least half of Saturday is eaten up entirely by baseball.

Four year olds play tee ball. They smack the ball off the tee and run to first base. Sometimes. Other times they walk to first base. Other times they run to third base... Sometimes they just stand there and other times they run straight for the pitchers mound. In the field, four year olds stand ready for a ball to come to them. OR they stand out in the field covering their face with their gloves. They pull the rim of their hat so low over their eyes, there is no way they could possibly see whether a ball was coming towards them. In four year old baseball, in the event someone gets thrown out they still get to run the bases.

The six year olds are slightly more focused and know a little more about the game. They can run the bases properly and even know a little about fielding. They generally run the right direction, they rarely put their gloves over their faces. Which helps greatly in their ability to actually catch the ball. They are still adorable in their uniforms. Sometimes squirrelly and fidgety during the late games. The coaches pitch at their games and if they can't hit after four pitches, they bring out a tee. If they get thrown out, they have to go back to the dugout.

Seven year old baseball is a little more serious. This league is machine pitch and the kids can actually strike out. A lot of the kids can actually catch a fly ball. They can throw a ball clear across the field. You can definitely tell a difference between the kids who have played since they were four, and the ones just starting out. (Mine)... The thing that amazes me about the kids on Eric's team is that they genuinely get excited for the kids who aren't as experienced when they have a success. Yet, they don't get upset if they don't do so well. It is remarkable.

For the last 2 months we have lived, breathed and eaten baseball. It takes me back to when my little brother played. Some things never change. The lingo, the excitement, the nerves when you are hoping against hope that your little boy will hit the ball, or catch it, or just get the darn glove off his face. The snack bar food. The kids begging for the snack bar food. Cheering in the stands for the kids. The pride they feel when they do well.

I can't wait until the next three weeks passes so we can have our evenings and Saturdays back... and yet, a big giant part of me is sad to see it go.

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