Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Field of Daydreaming

I showed up to practice at the park early the other day. A handful of kids were already there to greet me. The wind swirled around the gravel parking lot, immediately kicking up grit into my mouth as I pulled out the equipment.

One of my players said: "If I scream, don't worry, Coach." I stopped and looked at her as she exclaimed that she had a 'broken tooth that sometimes shot pain'.

Oh, wow. I thought and nodded my head as I carried the bag to the bench.

"And don't be alarmed if I bark."

I halted and turned to her waiting to hear a doozy of a story.

"Yeh, there was some -- blah, blah, blah (info I couldn't hear due to the shock or wind--- that made me nauseated, so I might barf."

"Oh! I said relieved but immediately thought up a game plan should "barf" at practice.

"well, the water cooler will be on the bleachers, get a drink if ya need to." I told her and patted her head.

The sun shone just enough to make the outfielders- well, all the kids, feel a bit drowsy as they stood in their positions to practice. Even I started to get sucked into the hypnotizing effects of a ball field. Overgrown grass blowing in the breeze, an empty, beat up garbage can chained to the fence for decoration; all of them factoring into a good lazy summer afternoon of daydreaming. No wonder kids dreams start on a ball field.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Sweet Summertime..

(J getting as close to the surf as possible here in Idaho)
I am competitive.

And, yet, I love to teach beginning skills in sports. And now that it is summer, baseball is underway. In all sports and in life, it comes down to the basics and if I can teach kids the right way... well, then I feel that I have done made a difference.

However, the other day when the ump told me that the last batter was my little Brea (name change), who has yet to hit the ball this season and is about the size of the bat- and the bases were loaded, I sorta felt sad.

The bases were loaded. And the batter after Brea could have surely brought them all home. Brea had shown up for the game and had asked if she could just 'skip' batting. I told her it wasn't an option, but I would help her.

Could hardly blame her- the first practice she'd been to she got nailed with the ball in the hand.

I don't even remember what I said to her, but I recall feeling that with each pitch, she seemed to be getting closer to hitting that ball. At one point I thought she might just get lucky and make contact.

And then it happened- the bat connected perfectly with the ball. She swung evenly and the hit went out somewhere near second base.

I screamed. It startled her and she dropped the bat and ran toward first. She made it safely! I couldn't believe it! All of the practices out in the crummy weather were worth it. And like that, I remembered why I do what I do: the look in a child's eye when they overcome fear and accomplish something hard.

Brea hitting the ball wasn't expected until the end of the season. It was a miracle to witness and I couldn't have been more proud of her- or my little team.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


Before bed J and I like to laugh and lately a Junie B. Jones book has done the trick. Last night Junie learned about the adage: 'when life hands you lemons, you should make lemonade.' Well, I did just that,

except with Rhubarb.

I am always rusty with my first pie of the season.

The crust eventually gets better each time I make it. But today, after I sliced through the crust, I encountered a puddle of rhubarb juice.

A first.

AFter visiting beautiful Utah- 80 degree, sunny weather- I returned home to the same dreary, cloudy sky forecast. The Snake River is so swollen; lapping up onto the greenbelt. And the rumour is it will be a foot higher by Friday.

So Jaden and I run our various errands together now that it is Summer (a loose term we use in Idaho) and enjoy that he has mainly indoor activities to pass the first week of June.

I hesitated blogging about my lovely pie, but then realized that the whole point of my blog is about the bitter and the sweet. I think I will just pour the pie into the blender and make it a shake or something. sigh.

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