Thursday, April 26, 2012

Our Little Batter

Baseball season is upon us and the Brison family has embraced it with gusto.  My son, Joshua, is what I call a “free range baby.”  He has never played a sport at all.   While other moms I know shuttled their 2-4 year olds from one program to another, I conceived the notion not to enroll my son in anything.  Sometimes this bothered me because I was not with my friends, but our family had an opportunity to live in Sequoia National Park and travel with my husband. Our schedule has never allowed for any activities, not even preschool.  Now he is 7, we are settled in one place, and we felt it was time.  We offered to enroll him in Soccer this past fall and he said, “NO, I am waiting for baseball.”  We explained to him that he could do soccer now and baseball in the spring.  He emphatically replied, “NO, baseball.”

We are not sure where this desire for baseball came from.  We don’t watch games on TV nor have we ever gone to a stadium, but since he was tiny, he has only had eyes for baseball.  By the age of 3, we purchased him an over sized bat, a t-ball stand, and glove.  Every night after dinner, I went outside to throw him some balls and when he got a hit, he would run his imaginary bases in triumph.  He showed his father and his Gramps his amazing batting skills.  I often worried he might not like baseball as much as he thought.  After all, it is not just about hitting the ball.
Spring finally arrived, he was one of the first signed up for Calaveras County Little League and assigned to the Rangers team.  He still had over a month to wait and his anticipation was contagious.  Baseball practice has been very enlightening.  We’ve all gone together as a family.  Joshua’s coach is nothing shy of amazing. He has taught this little band of 7-9 year olds how to be a team and actually throw and hit the ball.  He has even attempted to teach them how to catch.  He has the patience of Job, especially with my son, who has not participated in an organized anything a day in his life! 
“Are you ready Josh?” 
"Heads up Josh!”
“Eye on the ball Josh!”
“No twirling Josh!”
It was finally opening day and pictures were to be taken.  His uniform was spotless with matching socks and belt.  He was adorable. (Mom’s point of view.) These pictures mean more to us than any school pictures.  We ordered enough to give them away on the street corner if necessary.  The form asked for the position of the player.  The coach advised me to put down my son’s position preference.  I asked Joshua what position he liked best and he said, “Put me down as a batter.”
Joshua was ready for his individual shot.  He threw the bat over his shoulder and stared a deliberate scowl right into the lens.  The photographer looked up and said, “Hey are you mad at me?”  I heard him use this on other kids and it produced a number of big smiles.  Not my child.  He just hunkered down a bit more and reset his face.  “Are you going to smile?”  Josh answered, “No, I take my batting very seriously.”  He continued to glare straight into the camera.  “Really, we need you to smile…say cheese.”  “I am a serious batter!” Joshua replied. 
There was no smiling that day.
We are very proud of our Little League Batter.