Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Just a little crying in softball.

I cried through pitching practice tonight. Not blubbering or anything, I just couldn't stop my eyes from um, leaking.

I feel like I have stumbled through Cate's first three years of softball. I didn't know to bring chairs. I didn't know to bring snacks. I had to learn about sunflower seeds and the flavors -- all the flavors!

Little Red during her first season playing softball. She was only 8 but when a ball popped off the bat, she threw her mask off and caught it!

We had the sweetest team mates in Phoenix. Those mamas held my hand and walked me through. By the end of Cate's second year with these precious girls, I was not only feeling like I had my bearings, I was taking pictures and keeping score. Ok. Admittedly, I did one or the other. I couldn't manage both. But we all made some wonderful friends and memories and developed a love of softball that follows us still.

As a result, I may have strutted onto the softball field for fall ball for Cate after our move to Mississippi. I was no longer a novice. I had a chair after all.  And for that first season, I sat and encouraged the Mamas just beginning the softball journey and took a deep breath. Yes, here, pull your chair next to mine. I know what I am doing. Cheesy smile.

Then my girl decided to do tournament ball. 

Oh my merciful heavens. Not only did I need a chair -- my precious Facebook friends gave me a list a mile long of things to take: water coolers, iPhone chargers, blankets, cooling cloths (sometimes used on the same day), sunscreen, lip balm, clean socks, extra pants, a wagon.....thank goodness for all those dear ones who answered my call for help. We didn't show up unprepared to one tournament this Spring. (Except that one time we had taken the chairs out of the wagon and Claire had to make a run to the local Wal-Mart for replacements!)

The rules are even different. Cate is much much quicker on the learning curve of course, but I have assumed the position I thought I had left behind....that of novice, newbie, much-to-learn-mama. Sigh.

But none of that -- NONE OF IT -- were the reason for my tears tonight.

Tonight at pitching practice with Coach Meredith.

No, these were happy tears. These tears were the overflow of my heart as I prayerfully thanked God for the little legs on this girl that work so hard. The little arms that heed the instructions of her amazing pitching coach and conform to do exactly as Meredith tells her.  I find myself constantly wanting to photograph her pitching. I want to photograph her playing. I want to share. And then share. And finally overshare. I don't want to brag on her. That is really not it -- well, maybe a bit -- but the pride is something I can't quite put into words. I tried tonight when Cate asked why I was crying.

We climbed in the van and I was choked up telling her how proud I was of how hard she worked. She had the sweetest smile as she asked why that made me cry. And I tried to be gentle as I reminded her that sometimes children's legs don't work on command. Sometimes their arms can't lift a ball much less throw it. I told her that I never for one second want to take her abilities for granted. I always always want to give thanks.

We talked about the importance of using our gifts to glorify God for a bit before we turned up the only music she ever wants to listen to and belted the soundtrack from "Newsies" all the way home.

Nothing like singing "Now is the time to seize the day" at the top of your lungs to bring levity to the entire situation.

But I am pretty sure we haven't seen the last of my tears.

Carol - The Blessings Counter


Adelaide Dupont said...

And I hope Cate doesn't take her abilities for granted ... whatever abilities she has right now and the ones she worked so hard to build up.