Friday, April 22, 2022

If You Give Your Son A Baseball...

 I realize that this refers to just boys. It did not originate with me, but it brought back memories of my father (including what he did for me). Maybe that's why I, in turn, tried to watch as many of my sons' baseball games and swim meets as possible, why I served many times as judge for my daughter's speech events, why I chose to spend time doing it. Anyway, perhaps it will speak to you as it did to me. 

If you give your son a baseball, he will want a bat to go with it.


You’ll buy him the best bat you can find, and then he will probably want some cleats too. 

He will probably spend hours begging you to go out in the yard to play with him, even though you may want to sit on the couch and watch tv. He will insis, and nd his insistence will win. Then he will want a jersey. And when a boy gets a jersey, he will need pants and socks and a belt to go with it. And then a team.  At that point, life as you know it will end.


There will be no more lazy weekends watching tv. You will see more sunrises than you ever thought possible. Every spare minute of your time will be spent hauling ball-buckets and bags and stinky cleats and crazy boys all over tarnation for hours to practice for a game. 

And your house will be a mess. And your car will be dirty. All because you gave a boy a baseball. 


Your weekends will be spent freezing or burning to death on a fold up chair. And his weekends will be spent gaining confidence and friends and learning new skills and having fun and getting dirty. And you will be there the day he hits his first home run, his first strikeout, and his first double play. And he will make you proud. The other parents will congratulate you. But you feel weird saying thank you because it's not you at bat or on the mound. It's all him, you’re merely the facilitator.


When you give a boy a baseball, you give him more than just a ball. You give him a sport, and a talent, and hope, and dreams, and friends, a new family, a place to learn about life, room to grow as a person where he can push his limits. And he will have all of these things, simply because you gave a boy a baseball. 


Then one day, many years from today, he will be in his room and a baseball will roll out from an old dusty bat-bag underneath his bed. And he will pick it up and you realize instantly that when you gave that boy a baseball, you also gave him a childhood that he would never forget. And then he will hug you, and your eyes may leak – because you realize that everything you gave up along the way was worth it.


All because you gave a boy a baseball.


Priscilla Bettis said...

For my childhood it was a swim suit. I grew up swimming, swam in college. For my daughter, she says she remembers that her friends were always welcome. We hosted many sleepovers and art project evenings and jump rope competitions. I think it's a big deal to be part of your kid's life even if you can't swim, can't swing a bat (obviously, you can), or don't know squat about thespians.

Richard Mabry said...

It seemed "sort of important" then--only now does the importance seem very real to me. Some things are more important as we look back on them.

Patricia Bradley said...

I love this! It sounds like something Lewis Grizzard might write.

Richard Mabry said...

Not original, but when I saw it on FB, it resonated with me.