I am learning to appreciate the process that takes them there. To success.
Palmer’s first-ever at the plate experience, his bat made contact with the ball. Contact resulted in the ball dropping off the tee and rolling about ten inches toward the pitcher’s mound.
He turned around still holding the bat and shrugged at his dad. With Daddy, Mommy, siblings, coaches and crowd yelling, he made it first base. Safe!
Last night he had his second at bat experience. He knocked the ball off the tee and it flew to the pitcher’s mound. He quickly ran to first base as the pitcher threw the ball. Safe!
I reveled in his progress.
My boy. Learning.
The next batter steps up to the plate and hits the ball way out into center field. The coach starts wildly shouting at the boys to run. The batter runs—right past Palmer—all the way to third base. At which point, the second baseman recovers the ball. The batter who is now ‘safe’ on third base and also shouting at Palmer, runs back to second. He is now just inches away from the second baseman holding the ball. He continues back to first base where he is miraculously safe on first base. After hitting a triple.
All the while, Palmer has his foot firmly and ‘safely’ planted on second base. Even with every person in the stadium shouting Palmer’s name, he has no idea he is supposed to run. Hilarious? Yes. Catastrophic? Possibly.
The next time Palmer gets up to bat, he hits the ball and runs safely to first. Then he promptly takes second and third with the next batter’s hit.
Progress. Success. Redemption.
At the end of the game, Palmer’s wise coach gave him the game ball. This generous act brought tears to my eyes and joy to my heart. Palmer was graciously rewarded simply for being part of a team, learning from a mistake and successfully completing a do-over.
As a result, my little boy who thought practice was boring is now anxious to get out on the field. Yesterday my boy thought a jersey and cleats were the coolest things about baseball season. Today he packed a baseball with his name on it for show and tell. Yesterday he argued when I tried to put his legs in the long, itchy, yellow socks. This morning he asked me to go get the ‘lello’ socks out of the car and put them on his dresser.
Palmer’s dresser has always been a spot for his precious treasure. This shrine has been home to a teddy bear from Gramma, birthday dollars, flashlights, remote control cars, noisy toy guns and any other cool, boy-pocket loot. Last night before bed it boasted a baseball uniform complete with yellow socks, a game ball and a 'borrowed' trophy and photo from Hunter’s baseball days.
The mistake at second base had potential to steal the full baseball experience from a young boy. Instead, a wise coach used it to foster what has the possibility to become a lifelong love.
God showed me a beautiful picture through Coach Dave last night. I’ll share it with you later.
Today I’m bragging about my boy.
Don't you see that children are God's best gift? … This is my Son, chosen and marked by my love, delight of my life. Psalm 127:3 & Matthew 3:17