This summer we enrolled Henry in an 8-week t-ball class through our local rec center. It was his first team sport experience, and it was a serious learning curve for Henry AND his parents.
The team consisted of three and four-year-old boys. This was team picture day and because I was too cheap to buy the team picture, I snuck a shot with my iPhone. Quite the handsome bunch, dontcha think?
The kids didn't necessarily learn to play a game. It was primarily skills development. They did "play" another team at each practice, but there were no outs, no points, and no fouls.
About two weeks into the season, we realized that Henry was losing interest. Henry is the kid who becomes easily overwhelmed when there is too much attention on him (the apple doesn't fall far . . .) And forget t-ball if an airplane flew overhead or the nearby train came chugging by. He'd much rather watch anything driven by an engine than wait to alligator chomp a stupid ball (he's number 7, the boy who clung to his dad most of the season).
In Henry's defense, he was one of the smallest and youngest kids on the team (he's the one with the black shoes with red laces). I wonder if things might be different if we enroll him next year. And that's a very big if.
Henry had some good days. On a good day, he participated in the drills for roughly 40 of the 60 minutes that they were on the field. The last 20 minutes were spent with me as I bribed him to participate in order to receive the post-game treat and snack.
That's Henry at the end of the line, running the bases with his team.
Someone's got to be the caboose, right?
If Henry wasn't engaged in t-ball, he was clinging to Matt or playing in the dirt.
That's Henry to the far left, standing aside as the rest of the team chases after the ball. Can you tell that Matt was losing interest as well?
And did I mention that most of our games were played in 90+ degree humidity?
But what is it about this adorable line-up of teeny boys that makes my heart melt?
Did I mention that Henry likes playing in the dirt?
And watching for the train?
No matter how disengaged Henry was each Saturday, he LOVED the last 60 seconds of each game when the teams would line-up and give the opposing players a high five while saying "good game."
Just like his
daddy mommy, always a good sport.
The last game ended with a trophy ceremony. That ceremony was weeks ago and Henry still talks about that darn thing.
Though it didn't take long for him to realize that 20 adults were focused on him and his teammates. I pray that his shy and often overwhelmed nature translates into humility one day.
Regardless of whether Henry ever steps foot on a baseball field again, this final Kodak moment made the entire season all worth it. He was so darn proud of that cheap plastic trophy, and I was so darn proud of him for enduring a challenging yet growth-filled eight weeks.
Henry, I love ya, buddy.