What is it about baseball that breathes new life into our souls each spring? Is it the crack of the bat, the cheer of the crowd? The joy of watching the home-run ball flying high over the outfield into the glove of an 8-year old boy sitting way up in the stands yelling, “I got it”? Whatever the reason, there is something about baseball that brings us back to life after a cold, dark and dreary winter.
My youngest child, Meghan, went to her first-ever softball practice earlier this week. She joined the other 5 and 6 year old girls on the field who were throwing big, yellow practice balls to each other which went in all directions, sometimes catching the balls, but mostly missing and chasing them across the infield. At first, Meghan clung to my leg and told me she was nervous. Soon she began throwing and catching along with her new teammates. She was happy to see some girls that she knew from her kindergarten class. When it was time to practice batting, Meghan was first in line. Several times she swung at the ball sitting upon the T. Finally, she made contact with ball which quickly rolled across the infield. She dropped the bat and ran to first base, then second, third and home. The look of joy on her face was priceless. After all the girls had a chance at bat, the uniforms were distributed by Coach Erin. The girls lined up in the dugout, anxiously waiting to receive their light blue and black uniform socks, shirts, shorts and visors. Today, there will be an opening day parade through our neighborhood of all the teams in the league followed by a ceremony and water ice for all of the players. Meghan’s first game will be this afternoon. I can hardly wait!
As I write this, Meghan is up in her room changing into her uniform. Did I fail to mention that it is 7:30 a.m. on a Saturday morning?