We played in a tourney this weekend in Homewood, which, geologically, was fantastic for all the families on our team. Homewood sits right smack dab in between Gardendale and Alabaster, the two little towns that are home to all our boys. No need for hotels, packing up the whole house and pantry, or driving forever to get to the park.
I'll back track by saying that we went through a few changes back in the fall. We lost a couple of families. Like any loss in life, is was upsetting. But after this weekend, it's obvious that the loss of one certain personality was an incredibly positive change. Funny how one person, whether you're willing to admit it or not, can change the dynamic of an entire team. Just their presence, their mood, their hora can reek havoc or bring about calm. Let's just say that the mood on our team is nothing but relaxed. We are out to win on the field, but there's no competition with one another. And I must say how blessed I am to be a part of this great group of kids and parents.
The boys have really come together nicely in this whole new world of kid pitch. We were all a little unsure of what to expect this season. We've all talked to one another, reminding each other that we can't possibly expect our kids to be as successful this year as their past two seasons. But their first two tournaments have proved us wrong. They came in second place in their first tournament of the season and first this weekend. These boys just play with such heart and passion. They love the game, and they believe in each other. When they get down, they don't give up ~ they know they can come back because, together, they've done it before. They are a team in the truest sense of the word, and they are living something out in these early years that very few boys their age get to do. Learning lessons that will stick with them throughout life. And there's another thing I am thankful for.
David had a rough tournament altogether. He's making far more errors at first base this season than he's made in all the seasons he's played combined. But the game is so different, and the pressure surrounding it is intense. If a runner is on his bag, he's got to be 100% ready for the pick or the bunt or a hit coming to him in the air or on the ground. It's a lot going on in his little head at one time. But, for the most part, he's doing well. He struggled in the batters box as well until the second game yesterday when he finally made solid contact with the ball. He came alive in the last game, and I was so happy he did. No one likes to see their son questioning their ability, and that's exactly what he had been doing all weekend. He's a great ball player. No doubt in my mind. But my little man has a personality like mine... full of questions, doubt, insecurity. And it breaks my heart. But, hopefully, he will learn to morph that insecurity into something more appealing: humility.
We did have a little ball park drama during the last game. One of the opposing team's coaches was ejected. Lovely show for the kids with a parent climbing on the fence and hurling insults across the way at the home plate umpire, screaming, "YOU SUCK! YOU SUCK! YOU SUCK!" All over two calls ~ one was a hit called foul, and the next a pitch called a strike to send the batter packing. Here's the deal about calls on the field; you may disagree, but there's no sense making a fool of yourself about it. And, in this particular game, we were up by 8 runs, so it's not like it made a big difference. But it did make the game interesting. The you suck fan was dressed in a black sleeveless tee shirt, had tats all over his arm, and in general represented the great state of Alabama in true stereotypical form.
Oh, and to answer the question you've got stirring in you head... yes, I yelled back at him. Crazy Mama hollered out, "Show some class in front of the kids!" I'm sure it made a big difference in his life... I am sure he will never ever again climb the fence and scream, "You suck!" Maybe I'd rather him not wear a black wife-beater again...