Tag Archives: The Boy

Thank God for Baseball

Running through the day ahead, I stopped at the thought of the game tonight. My throat tightens, my eyes water and I wave tears away before they fall. For anyone who has children, it is safe to say they save you. There is a moment when the every day becomes too much and, as if they can read your thoughts, they come with a word, a smile or a moment. This act comes far and few between as they enter the space between being a child and putting away childish things, but it still does. And when it does, it means even more.

My children have saved me and they never knew. They have managed to take care of me just by being themselves. Seeing The Girl cross-legged in her bed in the wee hours, hair piled atop her head, laptop open, notebooks and text books strewn everywhere ignites hope. Seeing her see her possibility gives me life. Watching the baby rock back and forth on her tiny knees, raring to take off to nowhere, breathes life into my soul. And then…there is baseball.

Our lives have been lived on highways and byways, our Saturdays and Sundays swallowed whole. Our bank accounts drained for the purpose of investing in purpose. There is something to be said about the end of a long, hot ball game Saturday. Everything is dropped at the door, shoes are tossed in which ever direction they are kicked, everyone sighs with the release of home in their bones. The early 8 AM game and the late 8 PM nail biter have long since rolled off the shoulders and everyone is spent. And it will  happen all over again tomorrow. The long week of rushing from work to kids to drive-thru to practice to home to barely sleeping and repeat is also ahead of you, but you would never trade it for peace and quiet. You need this. You breathe this. You are a part of the dream and by proxy, you dream this.

I sat at work, waving away the tears thinking of him standing on the mound—smile slipping from under the game face and the arrogant walk off before blue even marks his last k with a barked “strike!” Today, he would save me. He would take away thoughts how’s, what’s and why’s. He would temporarily lift the weight. He wouldn’t know it as he leans forward, feet planted in the dusty red of the infield. He would never realize as he stands in the box trying like hell to hit his mark. Nothing about his glance to the bleachers and his wink would tell he knows, but I do. I know. For a few hours, I get to breathe. Baseball and all that comes with it has saved me…

~SM

Humble Much?

Each of my children is special. Yes, most parents believe that and they should, but it is clear to see from an early age that each of my littles has a serious purpose. One was born with a spirit of observation and understanding. Another the spirit of pure, easy joy. And, another with the spirit of accomplishment. Only one, however, was born with the hardest of heads and the softest of…

The Boy was forced into this world (after deciding in utero that being in there was way better than being out here). Shortly after he was rolled out onto the scene (literally), his brain was trying to make the body do the impossible. Crawl? Please. I would rather walk. Walk? No thank you. I would rather run. And, eventually, when his body and mind began to work in tandem he did just that.

The Ex and I endured years of him running, jumping and dare deviling. On any given day, strangers stop him to shake his hand or wave hello. “How do you know them?” I ask. As a youngin I would get a direct answer like “Oh, he’s Coach so and so” or “I played against him in [insert sport here]”, but today I get a cocky smile, a wink, and a “Cmon Mommy. I’m [The Boy].” Humble much?

As he grew into a young man and life started getting a smidge difficult, I would remind him to attempt humbleness. To him, everything is easy because…well…he’s [The Boy]. Until it isn’t. And when it isn’t we are subjected to fits of silence and the banana face.

There is something peaceful about being humble. The action of stripping off the ego and admitting you are not [insert egotistical thought here] feels freeing. Breath comes easier, shoulders lower, muscles relax. We are no longer fighting against what we truly don’t know. We are no longer swimming upstream.

Last night, his room washed in darkness, his long body sprawled across the bed, and his head covered I wanted to tell him to be humble. His most recent nemesis (the driving test) had him pouting and struggling to understand why he could not pass. He was [The Boy], after all. “Yes,” I wanted to say, “you are amazing. Yes, you are special. Yes, God blessed you to be a master in your gift, but not everything in your path will be easy. Sometimes, son, you have to step down, tamp down the confidence. Humility is most important because in the humble is where the learning happens.” Instead, I just stood in the doorway and watched him ignore me. After a moment, I shut his door and walked away without a word. This time he would have to find it out on his own. Hard heads make for soft behinds. Pretty soon, he will get tired of having a sore ass.

~SM

Pride & Surprise

What moments and milestones make you most proud? How did God surprise you? (Grit & Virtue)

Every morning, I drag myself into the daycare with Cookie in tow. Eyes still filled with sleep and a silent begging to the lottery gods, I open the door and plant the baby on the floor. I hand over bottles and baby food and ready myself for the next leg of my morning journey. On these mornings, body still aching for the bed, Mrs. J greets us with a smile and asks the rudimentary questions any caregiver should ask. Unsure of how this one morning turned, we got on the topic of my job which then turned into a conversation about me being a writer which steered into the direction of her being a writer too. She wanted to write a book, but was unsure of where to start. A children’s book, go figure. If anyone could, she most definitely should. You have to be sent from God to deal with a room full of slobbering, snotting, crying, peeing/pooping little humans day in and day out. “Hm, I have something for you,” I said. The next morning, I handed her the last (hard) copy of my book. She beamed and said she would read it over the Christmas break and return it when we came back. I waved her off and told her to keep it. It was just collecting dust in a drawer anyway.

There are many moments when I am proud. I am proud of The Boy and all of his accomplishments on the field and his heart off it. I am proud of The Girl and her resourcefulness and her ability to sincerely care for others. I am proud of Young Gun fighting through grief and sadness and still look to the brighter side. I am proud of my parents for still grinding and still giving. I am proud of everyone in my life who does. The only person I am ever, hardly proud of…is me. But this morning, a break in the clouds came and a little warmth buzzed in my belly. This morning, I was proud.

Today was unlike any other. I shuffled into the room, Cookie in hand, ready to just crawl back into bed. “Today I have a purpose!” Mrs. J exclaimed through a broad, gap-toothed smile. For the last few weeks, she has been throwing quotes my way. They are mine. My words. She uses the book/journal as her daily devotional. This morning’s message was to go back to the point in your life when you were doing something that made you happy, really, really happy. She did. She found it was writing. She proceeded to tell me in a rush of words that Today I AM was a blessing. It has helped her so much thus far and she loved it. I sheepishly nodded and smiled. “Great! That was the point. If it helped just one person…” I said with a smile. I kissed Cookie and waved good-bye, smiling to myself just a bit. How ‘bout that.

To actually hold the book in my hands was amazing enough. I had done it. I had taken everything I had gone through over the course of these last four years and managed to make a work of art. I left it on the shelf (literally and figuratively) for the better part of the year due to extenuating circumstances, but in the 11th hour, she appeared again. God surprised me, alright. He not only allowed me to accomplish a major goal, but He made the broken pieces more meaningful than I could have ever imagined. And, yet, He didn’t stop there. He used it all to help someone else become a better them. I shouldn’t be surprised by what He does. But I am.

In the wise words of The Anchorman, I am a glass case of emotion. Just under the surface, there is pride, gratitude, and praise. I am proud of my abilities. I am grateful He chose to use me. I am dancing on the inside thanking Him for loving me enough to put so much greatness in such an unworthy package. Won’t He do?

~Today I HAVE purpose…SM

The Boy: A Born Day Love Letter

Boy,

Maybe one day, when you are old and gray (like me lol) you will come across this letter. I will not dare give it to you now, you will not be able to absorb most of what I am about to say.

God gives us choice, free will. He allows us to come and go, be and do as we see fit, and yet there are times in life (usually the big moments) He introduces us to something greater than ourselves. Such was the case with you.

Your father and I have not done everything right, but if we have done just the least little bit correct, it was having you and your sister. Most parents will look at their children and say they are cute or special, but for us this is not the case. You are truly special. It has been all over you, even before you were born.  I knew it watching you move from one side of my belly to the other. I knew it watching you attempt to run long before you learned to walk (or crawl for that matter). I knew it seeing you step onto the baseball field for the first time.

You have grown into an amazing young man with such love and such heart it is almost scary to think of you out in the world with such depth. Not everyone will see it, nor should they be privy to it. You may not always understand your own depth or your own emotions, and that is perfectly okay. God crafted you to be exactly who you are for the greater good. You, son, will forever serve the greater good if you keep yourself humble, thankful, loving, and giving.

Never stop growing. Always be a student of the game. Keep competing. Keep protecting. Keep striving. Keep pushing. Nothing can stop you from that which is divinely yours. People/Things will try to break your concentration…to change your tracks…but keep your head on and keep it clear. Hold onto your vision and you will, indeed, reach the prizes awaiting.

I am uncertain if you will ever become what you are hoping. I am uncertain if I will ever get to sit in the outfield, right behind you, watching you draped in pinstripes. I am uncertain if I will ever see you awarded for an honor or a broken record. I am uncertain of your path or your destination, but I am certain about one thing and this only: You are truly, deeply, unconditionally loved.

Yours Always,

Mommy

The Great Ballet Debate

This morning, while watching the news, a commercial came on for the Atlanta Ballet Nutcracker. The Boy asked what it was.

“It’s the Nutcracker, son. The ballet.”

“Oh. Is that the thing you are making us go see in New York?”

“Sorta, only it’s the Rockettes…a little more exciting.”

“Ok. Good. Cuz I’m not going to see some people dressed in stupid tights, dancing around.”

For the next 15 minutes, we debated me making him go to the ballet at some point in his life and him definitely not going. “Son! You have to experience everything in life, whether you like it or not. You go to the ballet once and check it off your list. If you don’t like it, don’t go again.” According to him, he won’t go again because he won’t be going the first time. *exasperated sigh*

Understanding that the world is ever shrinking (thanks internet), it is imperative for kids today to experience something outside of the everyday mundane crap collection of…well…crap. Various foods, spices, activities, places, people, events and, yes, even ballets. When I was his age, I was reading Poe and Shakespeare just because. I was going to the symphony alone and listening to Beethoven for entertainment. I have not seen the world yet, nor have I tasted every food there is to taste but that doesn’t mean I am not open to it (well…except for eating bugs). All I am asking is for my children to do the same.

I understand the ballet probably is not his first choice for entertainment, but there is so much more to life outside of ESPN and Call of Duty and NBA 2k whatever. Some of the most brilliant, creative minds have been touched by something outside of their norm. The Girl is easy going. She will try anything once. But him? Not so much. I did get him to try cross stitch, which was awesome. It lasted all of 15 minutes, but he tried it. I am dragging him to see the Rockettes (kicking and screaming) but he will have experienced it. By accident I got him to watch How To Get Away With Murder–certainly not something to add to his culture toolbox, however it is outside of his box. And I am still confused on how he ended up with an affection for The Gap Band and Charlie Wilson, but I will gladly take it.

We ended the ballet debate with him saying he did not want to see men dancing around in dresses and tights to “that boring music” and putting his size 11 down on the matter. I allowed him to assert his almost 14 year old manhood, wisely picking my battle, and putting my hands up, conceding….today…but there is always a tomorrow and he will be seated next to me, watching men in tights by surrender or by force.

~SM