The season is still going very well. They are off to a 4-0 start. They have run ruled all but one team. So far my son has been hitting very well. Last night’s game was different. He got beaned in the elbow in his first at bat and then failed to hit the ball past the pitcher in his last 3 at bats. Not good for a player that is leading the team in hitting up to now. How will I handle it after the game? How will he handle it? I thought about having him ride home with his mom. I thought about just saying nothing. Sometimes that doesn’t work either. Maybe I’ll make him watch his baseball instructional videos when we get home.
The game is over and I make the slow drive over to the locker room to pick him up. He walks out the door and I can tell by the look on his face that he is not happy. My stomach starts to turn. He loads his bag and gets in the truck. I had to say something. “That was an incredible throw you had to get that runner stealing” I said. “Dad, just be quiet, I sucked!” That made me feel worse. I talked about how the team won and that was important. He was happy about that, but thought that he didn’t contribute. I told him that you can’t be “the man” every game. He said that he had a hard time swinging because his elbow was swollen and hurt. I looked at it and sure enough it was swollen and still showed the stitch marks. I told him that was a contribution to the team, the fact that he was hurt and he stuck it out. He inspired his teammates.
I told him I noticed what he was doing differently with his swing. I had noticed it the game before, but since he was hitting well, I didn’t say anything. I told him that we would break out his baseball instructional videos and look at them. He is starting to get to the point in his baseball career that he realizes he has to constantly work on his swing.
I don’t know if it is him growing up or me. It did not take long for him to get over the game. It used to take until the next game. Maybe it is me trying harder to give him space and let him come to me. Maybe it is just him maturing. I don’t really know. I just know that I am proud of him and can’t wait for the next game.