Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Play Ball! and: One Scout Uni; FOUND!

Tsunami-like weather, minus living by the ocean, is now hitting Idaho. Which means, like I said in previous posts; baseball is here.
It is debatably worse than football season. The blasts of wind cause your face to weather more quickly.
But J. seems to love it. So I let him do what he loves. After a few years of me making him suffer by putting him on a team that I coached, that included a handful of kids' names at the Rec center, he now is able to develop and play under actual coaches.
Even those who know the rules better than I did. I just knew how to stretch them out, do basic drills, and love the kids.
Above is J's first glove. He had been born loving the basketball but the baseball... now that was neat, too. The only baseballs we had were the hard ones and so he got used to throwing those around indoors for two minutes and then it was all about baseball for a bit.
His first mitt: a plastic glove with Velcro inside to hold a soft tennis like ball that the Velcro could grab easily if it was tossed to him.
The look on his face is classic. It almost seems to be wondering: 'This is not real leather.'
'Even though I don't know what real leather is, I know this is not right somehow.' 
Shortly after this revelation he accepted it but wanted to have a real, hard baseball thrown back and forth with a plastic mitt..... it didn't work too well. And I had to convince him to use the tennis ball. Which he'd just go and throw to the neighbor dogs that lived on either side of us.
He did this with his shoes too. He just wanted to play catch. Like the leather, he didn't realize the dogs would not hand back the items through the fence, but chew on them. This caused me great consternation and he received one of the few swats I gave him in his early career as a child.
Eventually he was moved  up to a "real" one that was a better plastic and then his fortune came and he had the op to get a leather mitt for a bday gift.
(I think this is mitt number 3.)
Of course he grew out of it, like they do shoes, and it was saved for the next grandkid.
Actually, one neighborhood boy saw J. practicing hitting at the park and J's first good mitt was loaned out to the cutest kid in love with a baseball mitt too. I was glad the little guy got some father and son catch in with those mitts.
One day we had a picnic and outing to a park that was an old school church ball field.
Below is Jaden walking onto one of the first ball fields he'd seen. Beside being a baby at an IF Chukars game.
(He even found a softball that was hit into the outfield and unraveled. Foreshadowings??
I was still of the mind frame that  basketball was his true love and this was just like any other boy who instictively loves any game involving throwing an object potentially able to break things. I love that the bottom pic- him trying to understand why church and baseball are on the same grounds.
Or is he wondering if he could throw the ball that far and nail the building?
 It [sports] becomes religion, I've noticed.  I hope he is looking back there to remember he needs both and that we can balance it all out in the coming years.
(All kids love bleachers. Especially if there are rocks underneath and you are two.
Oh, boy.
Another stressful fact is that I spent many hours climbing behind a toddler on bleachers to keep him from falling through them. Which I think he wanted to test for good measure.
 Rather stressful, those bleachers. Along with being very hard to sit on. But I have to take a good long look at them and realize I will be sittin on a lot of them through my life! I guess I should ask for a stadium seat to sit on next Christmas to soften the inevitable..)
That day, was the day he was introduced to a ball field.  I took pics. so I could scrap book them. I started to scrap book those first baseball moments but other things took precedence. My health for one. And digital cams came out. eventually taking scrapbooking online it seemed.  
Those stickers were pricey to boot! (when you're poor, everything is!)So it took a back seat.
 Unfortunately, that was the end of my die hard scrap booking days and I look at these pages with a little trepitdation. I need to finish them up in the manner I meant to decorate them in the first place and then call it good.
Don't get me wrong, I still take photos and I dream of putting them in sleeves and documenting things a little rather than keeping them on digital cams that are then transferred to the computer where they sit and are forgotten.
Rarely do we sit in the crowded office of Padre's and just go back through the pics.
 All of technology has helped us to simplify. But there is something about holding a tangible book in your hands of your history. Still, I am now into streamlining.
In these days, there  is nothing "simple" about the "game". Whether it is baseball, basketball, golf, football, or the stupendously fun and competitive game of playing croquet!
When I look back to when this guy was a littl tike...I think of things like:
 Hours that were spent throwing the ball to him in the back yard ( when he was three and four) so he could either catch it or hit it. Not only was I pitcher, but catcher and would have to retrieve the ball.
These were some of the most trying times for me as a mom. Because I didn't feel hot health wise. yet he propelled me on and he was my physical trainer.  Just the mention of going outside by a child that still is learning to pump him/herself on the swing set, is simply torture for some reason. Adults like to talk with other adults when they can and this is the exact time a child would like a nice pump on the swing set. Even in winter. Pushing them on the swing is one thing, doing 9 innings of practicing baseball, football or whatever is tough.
Do other parents feel this way?
Just wishing that the swing set would be like the automatic ones they had when they were babies? But they want YOU to be out there pushing them anyway becayse it is a bonding moment, and the child thinks you are having as much of a blast pushing them as they are in their little tike, belted in swing. (Eventually you have to break it to them that they have to learn to pump themselves or it's audios swing.
Like I said about those earlier years, it could be physical torture.  Coincidientally,  it was only a foreshadow of the future torture!
Pretty soon kids  get good at throwing that baseball. And you as a parent, aunt or uncle,  are fielding balls, throwing grounders, hearing pleas for just one more pop fly all before you have to start dinner!
And did I mention bats? or socks?
 His first bat was a big barreled, plastic yellow bat. Used in conjunction with the T stand at Padre's or the play mop that had to be hand held by a parent, he learned that bats were essential and part of the baseball package.
The big barrel has come full circle, and at sports Authority they quizzed me on drop weight,etc. for his league and I'm thinking: "What is the difference? We have a family of bats at home. I don't see what the deal is. I just need to find a good brace for my ankles while J drools over bats that cost as major bucks.
Baseball is expensive.
Cleats. Pants and belt. Pay to play. Bats. Balls. Mitt. Bat. Hand warmers, jackets, and rain gear for playing through the rain and wind storms.
Eventually, once you have all your gear, all of this cummulates into a Rockwell paintingand as I watch my son re-enact Norman's painting:.
The lean forward, pull back, stand erect with the ball in his mitt while he eyes the target and his mate with catcher's glove awaits the special picth.... 
Iit's the movie Sandlot all over again!! . This set of  kids love the game, celebrate it, cheer on their teammates.And afterwards are still playing.
How did I get so fortunate? Or how did he score in the areas of friends? My gosh, he has really come to be loyal and feel a duty to his teammates.. I think playing sports is a good lesson, like Monopoly. You play your best. No matter what position you put in. If  you can, learn every position and be aware of your teammates style of playing so you can orchestrate some poetry out on the field. In a cloud of dust due to the wind. Ha!
My one mistake during the game:
the cardinal no- no, I went up to him after an inning of great pitching. I had to sit in the car to avoid the wind and was precariously positioned to get nailed by a foul ball- however, I had to get to him and let him know how cool I thought he was out there. How well he did.
He'd had looked to the car to see if I was watching during some awesome pitches, catches, and plays that were fun to take in.
"Yes, son I was watching. And, yes, I was couldn't contain myself in the vehicle from cheering as if I was on the bleachers.
I was never that cool. Maybe I was in parent's eyes. But I was proud of him. I mean it was freezing cold out there! When he got home he filled me in on the post scrimmage game talk.
Said his lips hurt so bad due to licking them, the wind, and seasoned sunflower seeds mixed with dirt.
Being prepared, I pulled out the vaseline.
Oh! Sunflower seeds need to be added to list of needs as well.  Even I am craving the things.
Whoa! Playing Ball causes me to write a HUGE post.
oh, and Readers, I found the scout shirt. You won't believe where I found it. I'd finished laundry, searched bedrooms and was ready to embark on going through EVERY Tupperware plastic box that I'd put things away.. Then I happened to be in the laundry room and sorting some boxes. There, between the lazy- susan box and a holiday box, was a crumpled Scout shirt. How it got sandwiched so tightly in betwee with all his arrow points, etc. is beyond me. But finally our prayer was answered. 
I should have seen if my lost ring was there, too. I will have to move the sorting bins further away, into a different spot, so they don't  mingle with the holiday decorations.

Either way- We are back in business!
If you made it though this post you deserve a pat on the back and possibly a scouting segment for patience.

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