Tonight’s 10 p.m. wish: That the whole world could function more like my kid’s baseball team did today.
It was the final day in a 12-and-under travel ball tournament. My husband Ian and I were up early to prep for a long, hot day of baseball with one player and two siblings in tow.
Someday, I need to set up a GoPro time-lapse camera to document the precision choreography required to get the sandwiches made, cooler packed, water bottles filled, kids fed and dressed, and car loaded. The amount of gear we bring makes it look like we’re leaving for a two-week camping trip.
In spite of the swampy heat and humidity and occasional rain showers, our boys (the Indy Sharks, under coach Jason Taulman) brought their A-game.
Our two daughters (who have grown up watching their brother’s ballgames and don’t know another way to spend summer weekends) played with the other Sharks siblings and made endless runs to the concession stand for popsicles. (The tattoo on my arm is temporary, by the way, a henna-like ink called jagua – but isn’t it FIERCE?)
Five-year-old Daisy insisted on wearing eye-black so she could look as fierce as her mom – and her brother. She flirted with every baseball player and dad who would take her playful bait.
On the field, the team was ON. Watching them work together, playing good, clean baseball like a true TEAM was so much fun. They won the first game 10-0.
The parents spun into action to get us through the long gap between games. We scoped out a grassy, shaded spot near the parking lot, and set up a picnic zone. Coolers popped open, blankets and tents unfolded, and a huge smorgasboard unfolded. The spread was insane. (Baseball family pop-up picnics should be the eighth wonder of the world!)
After several hours of doing our best to keep our players low-key and cool, we sent them back onto the field for the championship game. This time, our son Cal, was on the mound.
Ian and I LOVE watching this kid pitch. He never seems more focused, happy and impressive to me than he is while he’s throwing. Today, the kid was on fire.
But it wasn’t just Cal who had a good game. Every kid contributed. They played like a TEAM. They had each other’s backs. Their bats were hot. They were adorable, and funny, and cool, and dominant.
The Sharks won 15-0 against a talented team. It was our first tourney championship. The kids stayed positive and respectful of their opponents while celebrating. From the top down, positive attitude is everything with this team.
As we wrapped up our long day in a Steak-n-Shake, sunburned, drenched in sweat, exhausted, and dehydrated, I looked around at the players and the parents. We all had smiles on our faces. It feels so good to win this way: with coaches and parents and kids and siblings all slugging it out in the heat together, all for one and one for all.
In two more weeks, we head to Cooperstown, New York, for a week-long tournament, and a tour of the baseball hall of fame. I may be the world’s nerdiest baseball mom, but I can’t wait.
As a teenager, I remember spending many hot summer days just like this watching my talented younger brothers play ball. I thought to myself all the time, “Someday, I HOPE I get to be a baseball mom.”
How lucky am I that this wish has come true?
I love what this sport, this coach, and this team, are doing for our kids and families.
Hooray for America’s pastime!!