Saturday, July 22, 2006

Saturday Fun Making Memories

If it's Saturday in the Summer, it's another day at the ballfield. Another day with my heart in my throat.

My oldest boy, still preteen, plays on a team I signed him up for. He's not driven to do it. He's not a ballplayer - the physical and emotional damage done to him from neglect before he came to us as foster parents saw to that. It's so painfully obvious watching his stiffness in the middle of the cluster of natural athleticism and energy that is a boys baseball team dugout. Painfully obvious in the silent, awkward world he inhabits at the end of the bench while others yell "come on Joe, rip it!"

I ache for him on the sidelines. I want him to have experiences. To be on a team. To make memories.

I want this year what I've wanted every year - for him to get on base just one time. Foiled again today. But he tried gamely.

I tried to cheer him on before his at-bat. I walked over and leaned over the low fence at his dugout, where he was sitting out the inning.

"Hey, buddy. Are you ready? You're up first this inning", I said - smiling at him.

"Oh, good", he said with relief washing over his young face. "It's not as bad to make the first out as it is to make the third out." That's his world. And my heart was in my throat again. "Go get 'em buddy".

Thank God for his team. Literally. I thank God. They could be cruel. Mean spirited. But they're not. They were encouraging him with tips as he took a few awkward practice swings, and then again when he stepped up to the plate. God Bless 'em.

A couple of nervous swings, and then....CRACK! and he ripped it hard! Yes! Straight at the first baseman who snagged it and stepped on the bag. Out again. But he advanced the runner, who eventually scored. And his little teammates all clapped him on the back as he sat back down.

"Dad, my heart was really beating fast when I hit that ball and ran!" he told me later, smiling big. A memory created. That's all we need. It's enough for him.

I'm a happy Dad.

And they won. So, we'll be back next week.

"Dad, when we get home - can I get on the computer?" Ahhh, that's my boy.

Later I'll be taking him to the public pool, where he always does better in the water and on the slides. No pressure. Dad can relax - and do some bikini watching! Saturday funday.
posted by Semi-Celibate Man @ 2:01 PM | 0 comments


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