My boy had a baseball game the other day. They lost to a really good team. The boys as young boys do, made mistakes. It isn’t uncommon for them to do this. They are learning and mistakes are great teachers. The pitcher, one of the boys that has been with the team since it started, was on the mound. He was doing so well. Then after one player gets on base, his head starts to lower. His normally healthy confidence starts to diminish a bit. My thoughts… “So what, he walked a player.” The game continues. Yells from the crowd, “You got this! Keep your head up!” can be heard. He throws a strike. The crowd rewards his immediate resiliency. He continues to pitch. The team played hard and still came up short. My son cried, other team mates cried. Not from losing the game, but because of mistakes and shortcomings. This is not a time for tears boys. Learning is happening.
I always ask my son to rate his performance after a game. I ask him, “did you feel you gave it a 100%.” He is always so honest. He will say “maybe 85% or 90%.” I then ask, “What is stopping you from giving 100%. He sometimes tells me the mistakes he made that he could have reacted quicker to avoid the mistake. Umm, yeah… Maybe! Or just realize that these type of things happen and that we aren’t perfect. We aren’t always going to hit a homer or get amazing plays. Sometimes the ball just bounces out of our gloves or we trip in an attempt to snatch the ball and make an out.
If you showed a highlight reel of my life it might appear that I have everything going great. Add in the real elements… The blooper reel, and now you see that I am just a person trying to figure out the game. I may be going at it giving anywhere from 85-100%, but there are some things out of our control. I have to remind myself of this when watching my little guy play ball. He isn’t always going to perform the way that I know he can. The important thing is that he realizes that even after a mistake, life goes on. It is what we take from the mistake that forces change in our lives.
Even though not everyday will be a grand slam, I know that I can do my part to contribute to my team (my family) If all I can do that day is cheer. I will do my best to cheer them on. If I can make a play that helps us win, I make the play. If I mess up and start thinking that the team would be better off without me… I will listen to the words from the crowd that day… “You got this! Keep your head up!”
I love watching my son play baseball and I am excited and encouraged by his growth in this sport. If he doesn’t play professional baseball someday, it will not hurt my feelings. I know that this sport has already taught us both so much.
THUNDER UP BABY! I love our team!
PHOTO CREDIT – All photos besides the selfie were taken by the coach’s wife! She did an amazing job and I love all the images she captured. Thank you Esther!