Thursday, July 7, 2011
As American as Apple Pie
Sometimes I wonder why God blessed us with so many boys. We don't have the genes for it. What I mean is, we're both short. Really short. I'm just under 5 feet and Steve is 5' 7" on a "good day". So it's inevitable-all of our boys are going to have to go through life short. For girls, it's okay-even socially acceptable. But for boys, it's a totally different story.
From the get-go I've had to deal with many well meant comments that just came out all wrong. "Oh, what a tiny little thing. He is just SO light." And that's a tame one. There's not a comment I haven't heard about how little my boys are. Trust me, when you're trying to raise boys to be tough and strong, it can be a difficult. After much frustration regarding others' comments about my boys' size, I've finally learned to laugh about it a bit and respond with, "Nobody's surprised with how 'small' they are." I really don't have much else to say.
This is something that I have worried about-a lot. I have probably put waaayyy too much worry into it because, truthfully, God didn't make a mistake. They are who they are and He made them that way! But one of the things that I've worried about is the boys playing sports. It's very likely that they will be either the smallest or among the smallest on their teams and for some of them, sports in general may not come so easily.
Steve on the other hand, isn't worried a bit. We've had talks about it numerous times and every single time he reminds me that he's already been through it and will know how to guide them. He's already been the smallest. He's already had to work ten times harder than the bigger boys. And he's convinced it built a tremendous amount of character into him. As long as they don't give up and go hard, he doesn't care how good they are. Right, I get that and I agree.
Yet regardless, I still worry. Blah!
However, over the last couple of months, I've gotten a different glimpse than I expected into the whole sports scene as I've watched my oldest fall absolutely head over heels in love with our nation's favorite pastime-baseball. Baseball is about as good as it gets. It's as American as apple pie.
He's fallen hard. As in, he goes outside and practices numerous times a day. And he listens to the Giants play on the radio as much as we'll allow. He knows all the players, some of their stats, all the rules of the game and will recount exciting plays to me. One of his favorite things to do in the morning is ask his Dad first thing if the Giants won the night before while he was sleeping. Because you see, he knew the score when he went to bed...but the game wasn't over yet.
He just loves the game.
As I watch him practice and practice and practice, I can see that he wants to do his best. And my heart breaks knowing that he probably won't ever be the all star athlete he aspires to be. But when I hear how much he loves the game, it reminds me that it's not necessarily about being the best.
It's about being able to play. And being a part of something bigger that is important and fun. He and his brothers will always have their size stacked against them but, their Dad is right. They're going to learn a lot. And they will fail. Their mama just has to learn to deal with it. Failing isn't bad in itself. It's what we do with our failures and how we learn to turn them into something positive.
I think I have more to learn as I watch my sons enter the sports arena. We're not going to be a super sports family. But we will have them play one sport a year probably. And I know already that it will be hard for me. Yet just as God will be building their character as they play, He'll be building mine as well when I watch them succeed and fail.
We start t-ball this weekend. You think this guy is going to like it? Is there even a question?
This is why we play sports regardless of size or talent. It's for the love of the game. And really, learning to love sports is an incredible gift we can impart to our boys whether they're amazing at it or not. It builds character, encourages hard work and creates memories.
Take me out to the ball game. I'm getting ready.