It’s one of my favorite times of the year! What would that be you ask? Baseball season!! Baseball is by far my favorite sport to watch and the Dodgers are my favorite team to root for. It’s also the sport that I know the most about, besides volleyball, so I can actually participate in conversations when baseball is the topic of discussion.
I grew up in a baseball loving family. My dad and his brothers all played baseball growing up, my dads older brother, my Uncle played professional baseball, my younger brother was drafted and played professional baseball in the minors for several years, for the Chicago Cubs organization. There’s something about baseball season that makes me happy, it’s a comfortable feeling. Growing up there was always baseball games on the TV. I lived out at the little league fields as a kid during baseball season, while my dad was always the coach of my brothers little league teams. It was my 2nd home. My mom tells the story of the first time her and my dad took me to a Dodger game, I was 9 months old, they had me in an infant seat, they drove down to LA on a whim to watch Fernando Valenzuela pitch, my dad wanted to watch him throw live. They bought some nose bleed seats when they got to the stadium, my mom tells me I was perfect for the entire game even though it was a chilly night in LA, the Dodgers would go on to win that night, my first time in attendance.
This past Saturday was opening day for my sons Little League. I got him dressed in his little uniform and took him out to the fields for the start of another spring baseball season. My son, now 8, has been playing since he was 3. He’s not the best one out there, but he loves it so much, and has the best time playing with his teammates and making new friends. To me that’s all that matters. I’m not the parent who thinks her kid is going to be the next major league star. I’m way more realistic than that. I realize the competition that’s out there, I also know that this is little league, and while some kids may be great right now, that may change when they get into high school and college and vice versa. I just want my son to learn the game, have fun and love the game of baseball, I don’t need my 8 year old to be stressed out about little league.
I can remember when my son was 4, 4 people! A mom from the opposing team was standing behind the fence at home plate, yelling at her 4 year old son to “get your elbow up!!!” as he’s standing at home plate trying to bat, don’t be that mom folks! Especially when your kids are so young, my goodness let them learn the game and have fun. What good can come from yelling at your 4 year old, through the fence while he’s learning to bat center stage at a little league game? I will never understand those type of parents, those are not my people.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m competitive and I do want my children to do well, but I do not base my happiness on my kids skill level in sports or any activities for that matter. I’m proud of them when they do well, I try to give them some tips in areas where they can improve but I’m not trying to live vicariously through my kids, and I never will. I have my own set of goals and aspirations that I’m still reaching for daily, I don’t need my kids to live a life that I’ve always wanted, that’s not their job. As adults we all need to have our own hobbies and interests and let our kids be kids and do their own thing, let them find their niche and happiness within that sport or activity that they love.
If one day my son no longer wants to play baseball I’ll be ok, that won’t change my love for the game. I’ll still be happy when it’s baseball season, and the smell of spring appears, fresh cut grass and orange blossoms fill the air, it starts to stay lighter later at night, those are the things that bring me joy. For me my happiness doesn’t come from my son playing baseball, even though right now that does make it sweeter, it’s the nostalgia for me, the feelings I had as a kid, the happy times out at the baseball fields, the sound of the games playing on the TV in my home growing up. I remember when I first left home for college, when spring time rolled around and I was feeling home sick, I would look for Dodger games on TV so that I could hear Vin Scully’s voice in the background while I did things around my apartment, it made me feel more at home.
This season I hope to take my kids to a few Dodger games, our girls have never been, this year I think they’re at the perfect ages to go to the games, I hope to share my love of the game of baseball with my girls, maybe even check out a few other stadiums that my husband and kids have never been to, Padres stadium is one I’d love for them to see, in downtown San Diego, I think my husband and kids would love it there. Just trying to check more boxes off my 2020 list, who’s with me here? It’s all about the experiences in life and the love for the game, the game of baseball, the all-American pastime.