My husband LOVES baseball. During entire seasons he follows the Giants online, on the radio, or on TV. Perpetually. At all times. Seriously. It always seemed like the season would never end. I considered starting a petition to lower the number of games played each year. I’m a sports fan, but for many years, I’ll admit, I was pretty irked at the mere mention of baseball simply because my husband was so obsessed.
This all began to change a few years back when my oldest son began to play little league. He was moving closer towards adolescence, leaning a bit farther into his dad (as many boys will), and putting much of his attention into that game you play with a stick and a ball. I’m blessed to have a close relationship with my son and, as you can imagine, began to spend quite a bit of time in the bleachers. I began to realize that this game could provide a new bridge to my son, who was naturally becoming more difficult to reach emotionally. He was growing up, becoming more independent, and needing his mother to learn new ways of connecting with him. A new world was emerging, and it was my role to navigate it differently for both of us.
My admiration started to grow on those special evenings listening to my son describe each part of his game, play by play. I had the opportunity to share in his love of each moment… in slow motion…re-living it again and again. Soon I discovered that each weekend, during games on television, he would let me cuddle with him on the couch, discuss the latest and greatest plays, and share in the pure emotion he felt for the game. The deal was sealed. I was hooked.
Since that time, we have moved on from not only little league, but to travel baseball. I’m grateful I gently positioned myself as someone my son can turn to when he is struggling with his coach, a teammate, the pain of missing the ball or losing the game… over and over again. What a gift this game of baseball has been for his unfolding into a compassionate, balanced, and wise human being. What a gift that he has welcomed me to walk this path with him. He’s opened himself to my teachings of using his breath to center himself while pitching and batting, my guidance in finding compassion for a coach who is behaving badly, and the offering of patience to support those players who are struggling…especially when that player is him.
Yes…it’s official. I’ve learned to love baseball. I may have learned to love the game for different reasons than my husband and son…but that bridge I get to walk over almost daily has been worth letting go of my old thoughts about the long and weary season. I’ve had a change of heart…and now the season can hardly go on long enough. Play Ball!