We tried tee ball once before. He was four. His dad and grandma were his coaches.
It wasn’t such a successful season.
Now, don’t misunderstand. I’m not talking success in terms of runs and bats and such. I mean, c’mon, he was four. They don’t even keep score in tee ball. Most of the kids on his team had to be reminded where first base was every time they were up to bat. It was a team of 4-5 year olds playing against other 4-5 year olds who were just as lost, just as adorable in their too big jerseys and pants.
Success isn’t measured in numbers or stats.
I’m talking success in terms of attitude and enjoyment. He was miserable. He wasn’t into it. He spent more time whining about having to run than he did running, more time grumbling about putting his mitt on than he did catching. Dad and Grandma being the coaches meant that he was always being picked on.
And with good reason.
He didn’t want to try. He wanted to get a snack, drink his Capri Sun, pick some grass and go home. He cried when he had to go to practice. He cried when he had a game. He cried when it was his turn in the outfield. It was more of a chore than it was anything else.
For him. For me. For Dad and Grandma.
So, we took a year off.
I decided that there was no way I was going to pay another 80 bucks to spend four months fighting him to go to practice, fighting him to follow directions, fighting him to have a good attitude. I wasn’t forking over money for Nike cleats and new pants and a new bat and pictures just to listen to him whine and complain. I wasn’t going to spend 3-4 days a week arranging our families schedule around an extra curricular activity that no one was enjoying, least of all the four-year-old who was supposed to be enjoying it the most.
It was the right decision.
Looking back, I know the whole reason he signed up for tee ball was because I wanted him to. He was four. He had no idea what the heck it was all about. I said, “You’re playing tee ball” and he said, “Okay.” Looking back, I know he wasn’t old enough. Looking back, I know I rushed it because I was anxious to start him in a sport, to start feeling like I had him ‘involved’ in something.
Another mom lesson learned. I was never so happy to see a season end.
When fliers for tee ball came out this year, Logan brought one home and asked if he could play. He was really excited about the idea. Jeremy and I sat him down and had a real conversation about it. We explained to him that he could play if he wanted to.
If. He. Wanted. To.
A six year old might not understand exactly how much money 100 plus dollars is but he is old enough to hear money is something Dad and I work hard for. He is old enough to understand that we weren’t willing to spend it to hear whining and complaining for four months.
There was no talk about him being an all-star. There was no talk about him being the best player on the team. There was,
however, a lot of talk about attitude, about dedication, about appreciation, about follow through.
Playing a sport when you’re six is supposed to be fun.
When we were all three on the same page and Logan assured us that he understood, I filled out the form. I wrote the check. I bought the cleats and the pants. I crossed my fingers and hoped and prayed that this year would be better.
Yesterday morning, my little Phillie was so excited.
The boys got to play at our minor league stadium, out on the field, just like the big boys. He looked proud in his uniform. He was thrilled to see his coach and his teammates. He was walking out on the field chanting, “Let’s go Phillies, let’s go.” and yelling, “Let’s DO THIS THING!”
He’s still on a team with kids too young to remember where first base is all the time. They still don’t keep score. Everyone bats, everyone runs home, everyone is adorable in their too big jerseys and pants. Fielding is still kind of a foreign concept. One little boy kept skipping third base and running from second straight to home. It was a riot.
But my kid…
During the second inning, the older divisions ended their games for a presentation of some sort and an 11 year old girl started to sing the National Anthem. We were right in the middle of a game and everyone was trying to decide whether to stop or keep playing.
Logan, playing second base at the time, handled the situation like this…
Mom lessons come in all forms and I’m sure this won’t be the last one I learn when it comes to organized sports. I’m happy with the way it turned out, though, and I’m looking so forward to this season. I think sports are important and I love being my kid’s biggest fan.
Jeremy and I noted last night that it feels like Logan has grown up so much in the last few weeks and while we’re both happy and sad about that, I can’t imagine a better way to spend the next four months than arranging our families’ schedule around a kid who’s having fun doing something he has grown to love.
Let's go, Phillies. Let's Go!
Happy Sunday, Friends
go. do. be.