My Cooperstown Epiphany

Tonight’s 10 p.m. wish: that the memories my son is creating right now will last a lifetime for both of us.

We are with the Indy Sharks in upstate New York for a baseball tournament at the Cooperstown All Star Village. The view of the fields, surrounded by rolling mountains of Oneonta, is heart-stopping. Last night’s purple sunset took my breath away.

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I mean, LOOK at that! This place is heaven for a baseball lover.

Games were rained out on day one, so Ian and I had some rare time alone with our firstborn, 12-year-old Calvin. (Our daughters are spending the week getting spoiled within an inch of their lives by their grandparents.) Cal is not a hugger, or a big talker, and he is at the age where it is hard to get much conversation out of him. But for whatever reason, he was in a rare, playful mood, and I ate it up.cooperstown fam

In the restaurant where we had lunch, he was poking at me, play-fighting, flipping my hat off, then ducking and flinching as his blue eyes twinkled with mischief. When we went out for ice cream, we laughed ourselves sick when a paper cup started sliding across the slanted table, slowly, on its own, as though possessed by some poltergeist. Walking back to the Players’ Village when it was time for us to say goodbye, my boy teased me about my height. “Here, let me hold the umbrella, mom, since I’M TALLER!” Then, he played goofy umbrella wars with me, trying to make me run to catch up with him and stay out of the rain.

It may not sound like much, but I know I will never forget that afternoon.

Yesterday morning, the rain finally let up. Cal stepped onto the mound as the starting pitcher for the first game. He was so fierce and focused. My heart melted. The team won two games out of three yesterday.

Later, Ian and I sat in a café alone, talking about how special this trip is for our kid, who has lived and breathed baseball since he was three.

Then, I noticed a song playing in the background in the café, and the tears wouldn’t stop. It was “Baby, I Love You” by Aretha Franklin – one of the songs I included on a special video I made of highlights from Calvin’s first year of life. The lyrics so clearly expressed how wild and crazy I was about that baby boy – and that feeling hasn’t changed one bit in 12 years.

Right there in the café, it hit me like a ton of bricks how much my “baby” has grown up. “He is about to start MIDDLE SCHOOL,” I told Ian, while wiping away tears. “And look at him – that baby boy of ours, taller than me, and playing ball in COOPERSTOWN!”

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Look at those long legs. He is not a baby any more. But ain’t no doubt about it – I love him.

When Lou Gehrig retired from baseball in the midst of a battle with a terrible disease, he told his fans, “I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth.”

This week, I consider myself the luckiest mom on the face of the earth.

(Trisha’s memoir, “Know When to Run: Lessons from the diary of a Gen X mom,” will be available August 1 on Amazon.com. Watch here for updates and previews!)

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