Friday, May 3, 2013

Off the Grid

Yes, I'm still alive.  I'm here.  I've just been off the grid for awhile.  There hasn't been one particular reason-more like many.  Little League baseball is consuming much of my spare time.  My husband just wrapped up his masters last week and I've been planning an event for the kids' school that took place yesterday.  Yet truth be told, I really just needed a little mental break to think, stew and well, catch my breath a little.  But I'm coming back...

Yup...those are some of the reasons.

But other than that, life is going along pretty swimmingly.

Speaking of baseball, we are in full swing here.  There is Giants baseball on the radio at night while the children are falling asleep.  We can hear cheers from the kids' bedroom when Buster Posey hits a home run.  And sometimes, when we go to tuck kids in before we go to bed, our oldest will sleepily pop his head over the side of the bed and whisper, "Daddy, they went into extra innings, but they still won!"

He is die hard at only seven.  Cracks me up.

So you can imagine that he's been pretty excited to actually play baseball.  He is on a pretty good team.  Lots of atheletes and lots of wins so far.  However, as much as Isaac loves the game itself, he is still quite a novice player, and he's one of the youngest on the team.  So there have been many lessons he's been learning.

One such character lesson has come with hitting.  When the season started, he was doing just fine.  For all of the practice games he got hits and only struck out once or twice.  That was when the coach was pitching to them.  But then, at the first regular season game, they hauled out the pitching machine and he was the first one at bat.  The ball comes a lot faster on the pitching machine.

He struck out.  And every at bat after that (there were MANY as there are lots of games per week), he could not get a single hit.  During practice he could hit, but at the games, when it really counted, he couldn't do it for some reason.  Part of it was probably mental and with the pitching machine, the ball was coming much faster.

Now mind you, we were in the throes of thesis prepping and finishing up A & M so, as much as Steve could, he practiced with him, but he couldn't do as much as he wanted to due to a lack of time.  So at every game, Steve and I would watch him march up to the plate, try his hardest, and miss every single time.

It was so heartbreaking for me.  Not because I care about him being a stud athelete but, because I knew how badly he wanted to get a hit.  And it's something that I could not do anything about or do for him.  He had to do it.  And he had to deal with it and man-up when he missed.  Plain and simple.  It wasn't anything I could fix.

We continued to encourage him and I'm so proud of him that his attitude stayed really positive.  There weren't any tantrums or tears.  He just kept marching up there and trying.

Last week he got a couple of foul tips.  He still struck out, but he got a piece of the ball.  After the game, he came running up to Steve and me yelling, "Did you see my foul tips??!"  Precious kid.  So excited to have foul tipped the ball!  He got his optimism from his Dad for sure!

Then on Saturday, we went out to his game expecting it to be just like the others.  The first few times at bat, it was the same routine.  Two strikeouts.  Yet the third time, on the last pitch of the count, he hit the ball.


He excitedly sprinted as fast as he could toward first base.  As he approached the plate, he saw the first baseman catch the ball, so he slid.

It was an awkward slide, let me tell you.  His feet came up over his head and his helmet somehow came off in the tangle-up.  In fact, the whole crowd kinda held their breath to see if he would be getting up sans tears.

Yet he jumped to his feet, knew he was out, and ran back to the dugout.

Phew...he wasn't hurt.  Like I said, it was a bit touch-and-go there.  It was quite a little slide.

But while the next batter was batting, Steve was called out of the stands by one of the coaches and the first thought in my mind was, "Okay, he did get hurt.  Let's hope the damage is small."

After a few minutes Steve came back with a proud smile on his face.  I had no idea what had transpired so I asked if Isaac was all right.  He smiled with that smile I know so well...the one where he is holding his emotions in check, and answered that he was fine.

Evidently the coach had seen him crying after his slide and had assumed he was hurt.  So he went to see how he was doing and asked him if he was okay.  Without skipping a beat Isaac answered, "I'm okay.  I'm not hurt.  I'm just so happy I hit the ball.  I got a hit.  I'm just so happy."

The coach had just wanted to tell Steve that.

Both of us had this mixture of awe, pride and happiness for our oldest.  No complaining about getting out.  Just happy he'd gotten the opportunity to try and take first base.  He had been waiting many games for that.


Later, Steve asked him about the slide and why he had tried to slide like that.  Isaac answered quite emphatically, "DAD, come on.  I saw the guy catch the ball, knew I was going to be out, so I thought, I'll just try and knock him over like they do in the pros, and maybe the ball will come loose."

After Steve stopped chuckling (he had held his laughter back) he reminded Isaac that no only did the first baseman have at least twenty pounds on him but, that rule was only in effect for home plate, and really only for much more experienced baseball players.

Too much Giants baseball on the radio at night you think?

Anyhow, that's what we've been up to.  Baseball, rearing children, wrapping up a huge chapter of our lives with Steve finishing up at A & M, and catching our breath.

It's good to be back...

1 comment:

  1. Sooo sweet. I think I would have cried with pride over my son. :-) Love the stories, Nikki.