Both of my boys played summer baseball on different teams. Their combined regular season record was 50-49-2-1.
That’s 50 wins, 49 losses, 2 tied games between both boys – and 1 intact marriage between my husband and me. I threw that last number in there because I believe it’s worth mentioning.
I’ve written before how parents can get a little too caught up in criticizing their children for poor athletic performance and about how many adults ruin sports for their kids.
I’ve seen and heard some pretty deplorable actions and comments by other parents who I know believe they are doing the right thing by “pushing” their kids. I’ve also seen the look of defeat and embarrassment on the faces of the kids when they fail to meet their parents’ expectations.
On the flip side, I watched a dad this year continue to provide his son with unwavering support even when the boy wasn’t performing as well as his dad knew he could be. He showed up for every practice, threw batting practice to the entire team, listened to the coach’s advice, and worked with his son at home.
Never a harsh word was spoken. Never once did he raise his voice. And the efforts of their hard work paid off. The boy was confident and relaxed, and came through for his team when it counted.
(And, no, I’m not talking about my own husband or son in this story.)
Lucky for us, and I do mean lucky because there are too many select programs in this city to mention, we found good coaches, good teams, and supportive parents this summer.
Now, did I use my best judgment in every game? Did I control my emotions? Most of the time I did.
I firmly believe our boys made some wonderful memories and formed lasting friendships this baseball season. They also honed their skills. At ages 11 and 9, those are the three goals I desperately wanted them to achieve.
So thank you to the men who taught them, for the moms, dads, and grandparents who supported them, for the player siblings who helped entertain my daughter, and for my husband for putting up with an overly competitive wife and mother of his children.
* * *