Swing Batter, Batter, UH-OH!

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For the past decade I’ve spent every Spring (except for one) on the baseball field. I love to see my boys in their little uniforms- cleats, belts, baseball caps, chewing gum in the dugout, wearing the wrong socks…

When Dyl Pickles was little I took being a player’s mom very seriously! “Eye on the ball” I would shout, or “level swing” I would say.

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One year even Blondie signed up for Baseball. I tried to get her to play softball, but she just had to be with the boys…

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We’ve had some exciting moments of home runs and plenty of candy in the dugout.

Maybe our absolute best day was when Jordan made a triple play. He caught the pop fly, tagged out the runner who failed to go back to first and then got the guy headed back to second. It happened so fast he didn’t even realize the inning was over.

When Trenton started doing the moonwalk in the outfield, I learned not to take things quite so seriously. Sometimes you get a kid who picks flowers in the outfield, and all you can do is hope no one hits the ball to him!

My kids have grown up on that field. Some of them watched games in their strollers. If they weren’t old enough to play ball they were playing in the sand pile, waiting for their turn to put on cleats and run the bases.

People have different opinions about kids and sports and just how important it is or isn’t to let them play,  but in my world, all this ball chasing has done nothing but make our lives better. I believe children thrive when they’re part of a team. For kids like mine, staying busy in a structured way really helps us cope with all of our ADD/ADHD/OCD/ODD issues. Not to mention the coaches! You have to give props to the people who give their time and energy to teach children how to play the game. We’ve had coaches who stomped and yelled, coaches who high-fived and cheered, coaches who sat back and said “play wherever you want to play” and coaches who had the game all planned out on a little square a paper, but I promise you this- each one of those people brought something extra into the lives of my kids.

For all the good times we’ve had on the baseball field, we’ve had a few mishaps too. There was the one year when Dyl Pickles slid into home and got himself and “green twig fracture”. (That’s where the bone bends, but doesn’t break. Fun times.) Another night all the boys were throwing rocks in the parking lot while Dyl’s game ran into extra innings. One rock happened to slide by Jayden’s head so perfectly that we had to go get 3 staples to the scalp. I’ve gotten used to boys and injuries. But the other night I wasn’t expecting a visit to the ER so early in the season.

It was our first night of practice. Like always, I had a Yukon full of kids. My little grandbaby went to a few games last year, but she was still a newborn. This is going to be her year of toddling along the fence line. She was walking from person to person, eating her fruit loops, and what happened?

Poor baby tripped over her own feet and bumped her head on the bleachers. She didn’t seem too upset but she wasn’t popping up as fast as she normally does so I jumped up to pick her up. Just as I got her into my arms, I saw her face was covered in blood. Of course I grew up with parents who are really good in emergency situations. My father was a paramedic / firefighter so I know a thing or two about first aid. I knew I just needed to apply pressure and stop the bleeding, but after a minute I realized it was too deep for a band-aid. “This is going to need some glue!” I told the parents around me. A fellow grandma jumped in my car to drive so I could sit by the crying baby. A host of other moms vowed to keep an eye on the twins and off we went to the ER.

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Not too bad for a first injury…

It’s pretty amazing that a little dab of super glue can fix a kid up in a pinch! It didn’t take us long to have her back up and running.

Let’s just hope that’s our only injury of the season. Baseball’s not really a contact sport. As Joe Namath would say, it’s more of a collision waiting to happen…

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