Baseball Tryouts

02/22/2012 3:21 PM

02/22/2012 3:21 PM

Baseball Tryouts make my stomach hurt.
I cannot throw, catch or hit a baseball worth a darn, so of course the thought of doing all of that, while a legion of coach-dads take notes from the outfield should strike fear into my heart, right?
Except, of course, for the fact that I am not actually doing any of these things.
When it comes to my seven-year-old son, though, what's the difference?
Last weekend, it came. The surest sign of Spring, yet...Little League Baseball Tryouts. Sign up. Pay your money. Report, in alphabetical order, for your dutiful hitting, throwing and catching drills. It's all over in 8.3 minutes, but for a mom who does not naturally have any of those talents, the 8.3 minutes seems excruciating. 
Until I take a breath for a minute and learn a lesson from my son. 
I watch him stand confidently and hit the balls. I watch him (okay, peek from behind the stands) run, catch and throw the ball, calmly and certainly. I watch him run off with a big smile. He did well, yes, but he also knows that baseball season is close. He'll be on a team and get to play with his friends, in the beautiful spring weather. I can see the anticipation in his eyes.
For him the 8.3 minutes might bring a few butterflies, but he knows he can do it. More importantly, he knows the pay off. He'll be a hero one night, and not so much, another. He'll have a cool uniform and snack tickets to spend on bubble gum and Gatorade after every game. He'll get to hang on the fences with his pals, and watch the bigger boys really play ball. 
After tryouts, as we head back to the car, he even says, "That was fun!" and then, for more perspective, "What's for dinner?"
Yes, this seven-year-old is both brave and certain of his priorities. What's a baseball tryout, in the grand scheme of things, anyway? I love it.

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