Engaging Each Day with Action Words

Swing. — The Legend of a First Home Run.

on June 20, 2013

It was a stormy afternoon. A rain shower had already moved through earlier, threatening the plans for the evening.

The last softball game of the season.

I called and prepared the girl child for the possibility that it might get postponed. She’s the type that needs a little heads up when schedules might change. Yes. She’s Type A like that. She IS her Mother’s Daughter after all. When I picked her up from her last day of camp activities, I could tell she was equal parts excited and nervous about the game. She loves softball. This season has been a great one for her.

She had a phenomenal coach who really loves the game as much as these girls do. He took time to teach them the necessary skills, but also taught them … the game.  And for the first time, I think, these girls really started to understand and appreciate the game. I listened to them talk between themselves — they knew who covered bases when the ball was hit here or there; they loved when a plan came together and the throw from shortstop was caught just in time at first base; and they dreamed about the magic of the elusive double play.

She came into her own this season. She found a field position that she fell in love with…1st base. She loved the action and the responsibility of this role. She has a good glove and can catch under pressure as the runner approaches. She’s getting better about understanding that she can come off the plate to make the play, something that took her half of the season to get comfortable with.

But over the course of the season, the best part, as a parent, was watching her fall in love with the game. It is an amazing feeling to watch your child find their niche, find something that they are good at, something that they really enjoy doing all while understanding their role as a member of a team. She learned teamwork this season. What an amazing life lesson to find as a bonus on a ball field.

This was the last game of the season coupled with the fact that the last couple of games had been rained out, so they all hadn’t taken the field in about a week. The Momma in me intuitively knew however, that she might be feeling more than nerves. I could tell that she didn’t feel well. She was cold. And was lacking her typical excited energy. She walked during the warm ups instead of running. She looked a little flushed and was not hanging with the other girls eating and spitting sunflower seeds in the dugout. (Something else they all discovered this season!)

I checked her forehead and asked if she felt alright and if she wanted to sit this one out. To which I got a resounding, “NO!” And off she headed to play first base.

The opposing team was the one and only team that they lost to this season. And this game was turning out to be a little back and forth. Good hitting, but some scrambling in the infield on occasion. I’ve learned that I cannot sit down during these games. I’m a stander at the fence. I bring a chair to every game and there are usually bleachers, too. But I rarely sit. I will find something to do — help with keeping the girls organized in the dugout, help with the stat book, help with the catcher’s gear, etc. I guess that is how I keep from getting too nervous for them as they play.

In the top of the 4th inning, the girl child was on first base and her teammate fielded the ball and threw it, not realizing how close she was. She hit Y in the chest with the ball. Several of us Mommas gasped out loud as we heard the ‘thud’ of the ball. Poor little thing. I called to her and asked if she was ok and I could tell that she was holding back tears with every ounce of courage she had. She mouthed to me in silence, “That really hurts!”, but she wouldn’t come out and wanted to keep playing. Fortunately, they got Out #3 on the next play and I met her on the bench.

She melted into my arms and started to cry. I checked her out and while I believed she might have a bruise, thought she was ok. But she certainly wasn’t feeling 100%. She was tired from the week. She wanted this win so bad that it was making her nervous. She was going to be fourth at bat this inning, but I told her she could wait and skip this one. Again, a resounding, “No!” as she started to wipe away her tears. Her teammates were checking on her and I love that they were. They have all really bonded as a strong team of girls this season.

It was her turn. She donned her helmet, wiped her eyes one more time, picked up her bat and headed out to home plate. She swung at the first pitch and missed it. Poor thing, her eyes were still a little watery. The second pitch came and she was a little closer, tipping it up and behind the catcher. I thought to myself, “please don’t let her strike out…just a little hit to make her happy.”

Third pitch. She swings and it is a solid, solid hit out to right field. She took off running and I watched as the ball went past the outfielder, who was scrambling to get the ball into the infield. There were some overthrows and some confusion in the outfield and Y was still running. The third base coach signaled for her to head home.

That’s when I realized. I realized that I was actually jumping up and down, screaming in proud excitement for her. Yes. I was that Momma. 🙂

The smile on her face is something that I will never forget. I know she will always have that moment as her teammates met her at home plate to celebrate the first and only home run of the season. That is magic, my friends. Pure Magic.

I know that I will spend some years in some bleachers. Between the girl child and the boy child, I’m excited to take my turn. I had my years on the courts and in the field. I’m ready to take my turn by the fence near the bleachers. I am excited for them both. Playing and learning and loving a game can be such a wonderful experience.  I hope they both find the life lessons just as powerful as I did during my days out there.

On the way home, she was beaming. She shared that she had secretly set several goals for the season:

1) Have an undefeated season. (They came close, only losing that one game, since they won this last one!)

2) Make a double play. (This one will have to wait until next year, when they learn how to throw past runners without hitting them in the back of the head!)


3) Hit a Home Run.

Success. At her last at bat. At the last game of the season. The one and only home run.

Here's the home run hitter. That's a proud smile with eyes that reveal that she wasn't 100%. And still the legend of her first home run starts here!

Here’s the home run hitter. That’s a proud smile with eyes that reveal that she wasn’t 100%. And still the legend of her first home run starts here!

Congratulations Y. So proud of you. And all that you are. Which is all kinds of awesome.
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9 responses to “Swing. — The Legend of a First Home Run.

  1. Felix says:

    It’s amazing to watch them grow and how proud it can make one feel – biking 17 miles, swimming and diving, doing so much that they simply couldn’t do ‘before’ (italicized for emphasis) .. and esp. hitting homes runs.

  2. Jan says:

    It’s a magical time….the age when a family is truly together…before all the outsiders come in…cars, boyfriends, girlfriends, cell phones, no time for Momma and Daddy. Ah, treasure the days and I know you do! I’m so proud of you Y!!!!

  3. Kate says:

    Yay for her! She should definitely be proud- as should you!!!

    • MommyVerbs says:

      Thanks! It’s been a fun season. She’s already decided on the college she wants to go to and play ball. It is out of state. I’m thinking about the tuition. (She’s 8.) She asked me if she should get a softball scholarship or a scholarship for being smart? I said, Honey, I like your confidence and as for scholarships …Yes. 🙂

  4. The accomplishments that they make and the pride they have in themselves is just awesome. thanks for linking up with us for the #LOBS party!

    • MommyVerbs says:

      Agreed. So much fun to see them learning and having fun! Thanks for stopping by. I’m still figuring out this blogging community thing here. Looking for my ‘tribe’ 🙂 The #LOBS party was fun! Connected with some awesome Bloggers. Looking forward to reading and learning as I go! ❤

  5. Tamara says:

    Play..ball! Sorry, was trying to come up with a relevant action word! Ah, how can you not be that Mama jumping up and yelling? Such a great story. Thanks for linking this up to #LOBS.

  6. Love it! It is so cool when you see them accomplish something that they really wanted to do!! Thanks for linking us with us for the #LOBS link party!! So nice to meet you!!

  7. That deserves a loud Woohoo! 🙂

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