Happy Thursday. It is still Thursday in California where I’m curled up in my Thanksgiving Chair tonight.
It’s already August 1st, but it’s still summer. And it’s still pro baseball season. Thank goodness.
I never thought I’d say that I’m thankful for baseball. I grew up dancing and cheering and singing Broadway. Each Saturday morning, there was a melody for my mood–from “The Music of the Night” to “Don’t Rain on my Parade.” There were buns and bobby pins and pom poms. And now? Now there are cleats and cups and coolers.
I’d never touched a pair of cleats. Then, just like that, I was responsible for making sure they were laced and velcroed. And fast. Just like that, I was sitting in the stands cheering Slugger Tucker on.
Case shared a spot in the shade with me while Jeff helped coach on the field. But games are long for a baby brother who just wants a team of his own. So, sometimes he would sneak beneath the bleachers and watch from the fence.
Maybe it’s because Jeff has
brainwashed encouraged us to pull for our hometown team. Maybe it’s the silly songs & snacks & stats. We’ve all caught the baseball bug. I mean, how can you not be smitten with a sport that’s not timed? Anything can happen.
And our team, the Rays, hosts family fun days with giveaways for kids. Growing loyal fans, one freebie at a time.
The Rays even celebrate the ultimate fan combinations.
And, when they win, they’re proud to let the world (at least the city) know.
It’s always fun to cheer on the Rays live at the Trop (where it’s always a balmy 72 degrees). But we usually watch them at home. Home is where I love baseball because we’re in a baseball state of mind. We catch a few bits of the game but, because there are so many, it’s really okay if we don’t see the entire thing. A game is always on, but our weekend doesn’t revolve around one. Instead of “5 more minutes” bedtime is “at the end of this inning.”
This week, we sign the boys up–both of them–for fall ball. Two teams. Two practices. Two games on Saturdays. The new season and school year will be in full swing. Not yet though.
For now, it’s still summer. Like baseball, this summer season is play-paced. It’s that unhurried moment, sandwiched between the chaos of school years, when we’re not timed. It’s a pseudo pause button that means Tucker isn’t in second grade yet, Case isn’t in VPK yet and we can snuggle on the couch for just one more out.
Baseball transformed my life as well. I remember the day I was told that Autistic children don’t learn to play team sports. I am grateful for a mom who encouraged me otherwise, and for a Little League that embraced him – and us as well! It has spilled over into High School, and my disabled son is now very popular and liked (evidenced in his yearbook). We have made so many good friends and memories over Cole’s baseball years! These days we still enjoy dinner and baseball as a family; rarely missing a game on TV. We are the family we are because of baseball. I’ve said for years that there’s not too many better places on earth than the ballpark!
There is definitely something special about the ball fields. 🙂