Back in the early spring my boy played his second year of recreation baseball. His team was called The Ninjas. This year they upgraded from t-ball to coach-pitch. It was interesting to say the least. During every game I would sit on the sidelines and cringe as I watched approximately 14 little boys surround the coach and smother him with requests to play 1st base, catcher, and pitcher. I swear that man was a saint. He patiently smiled and waited for them to stop jumping up and down and pulling on his shirt to give them their field assignments. He tried hard to mix things up, but honestly I don't think he could remember who played where each time because of all of the chaos. The other thing that happened on a consistent basis was the crowding and pushing that happened each time it was our turn to bat. In the beginning of the season they all wanted to bat first, but about halfway through the season they figured out that if they got to bat last they actually got to run around all of the bases. This was when even more craziness ensued. They made a squiggly line to get in order, and the coaches had to monitor them closely since some of them insisted on practicing their swing in the middle of the mess. I was certain that someone would come out of it with a head injury, but luckily the boys came out okay in the end. Here is a list of my favorite parts of watching my boy this year.
- He desperately wanted to play the game with people in the right positions. Obviously he has attended a little too much of his sister's softball games and practices because he was completely frustrated that the boys did not stay in the right spots on the field. He was upset time after time that they weren't "playing together as a team". This gives me hope for the future that he might actually want to follow some rules in his life. ;)
- He had some pretty darn good skills. I was impressed to see how much his game had grown in just one year. He has improved so much, and he definitely has an arm on him. He was known on the team as the kid who could throw the ball from right field to 3rd base with no problem at all. I guess all of the wrestling that he does with his sisters is paying off.
- He paid attention much better this year than last year. Although he did spend a little time visiting with the players on the other team when they were in the outfield, it was nothing compared to last year. I was so happy to see him watching the ball and wanting to get the outs instead of what happened last year. His famous quote from last year while playing first base and talking to every runner that made it there goes like this, "I hate this team mom! I'm over there on 1st base minding my own business talking with my friend and the team keeps throwing the ball at my head." Um yeah... this year he actually caught on that when he was playing first base they weren't throwing the ball at his head, but they were trying to get the runner out. He did a lot less chatting with the runner this year. Whew!
- His hitting was awesome! Although he can still use work on his technique, he consistently hit very well and he hit hard. You will witness the anger in his face in the batting picture below. I'm glad he had this avenue to get his aggression out. I know from experience that it can be therapeutic.
- Last but not least, my very favorite thing about watching him play this year was the thumbs up that I got from him every time he did something well. This never failed. If he got a good hit and made it to base he would quickly scan the crowd to find me and give me a thumbs up. If he made a good play in the outfield he would do the same thing. Best part of the thumbs up though? The smile and the dimples that go with it. I sure love him and he knows it. I can't wait until next year to see him play again!