Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Food For Thought...

...Perseverance

My kids teach me a lot of lessons. My oldest son started teaching me lessons when he was as young as three. We were at a California vs. Arizona football game. The California Golden Bears mascot wasn't very...hmmm...realistic. It was a painted on face, and not a very good one. I remember making a derogatory comment. I can't even remember what I said now but I distinctly remember what my son said, "But Mom, look at him. He's happy." And he was. The painted on face was a huge smile and who was I to judge him. Even if he was just a mascot.

That has been a regular occurrence with my oldest over the past nineteen years (he's now 22).

And now it's my youngest sons turn to become the teacher.

He plays on his middle school's baseball team. At this age, they make a lot of errors. It's not like the Bad News Bears or when they first start off playing T-ball, but they still let balls get by them and have bad throws.

Now, when I make a mistake (or do something less than perfect) I beat myself up for it. A lot. These guys get frustrated and angry, but the next time the balls in play, they've let it go, moved on and are back in the game. Hmmm...a great lesson for when I get a bad review or a rejection letter.

But the coolest thing in the world happened last night!

Three years ago my son decided he wanted to be a catcher. He wasn't even playing on an organized team at the time, not even Little League. But did he let that stop him? Nope. He told Grandma for his birthday he wanted catcher's gear and she got it for him.

Last year, he tried out for his middle school's baseball team and made it. Every game he asked the coaches if he could catch. It didn't matter that he'd never done it. Well, it didn't matter to him. He still asked. He carried his gear with him to every practice and every game. He never got to put it on.

This year, he made the team again and they started letting him catch some during practice. In fact, he catches most practices. The whole practice. But he's never played in a game.

Until last night!

The stars aligned. They got a big lead over the opponents and the regular catcher hurt himself sliding into 3rd base. A group of parents that have seen him carry that gear with him every single day started cheering and yelling for him. As soon as they started warming up for the third inning it became obvious to everyone. He's good. Really good. The parents started questioning why the coaches don't let him catch all the time.

The coaches constantly complimented him on how good he was doing. The teammates cheered for him. He got everyone out that he was supposed to. He only let one or two balls get by him and when they did, he hustled back and got them. Correcting the error as quickly as he could. Then he shook it off and got right back in the game.

I can't remember a time that I've ever been prouder of him. Not because he was good at catching. But because he was determined that was what he was going to do and he never gave up. And what a great lesson for me.

Sorry this post is so long. But thanks for sticking through all the way to the end (lol..if you're still reading). And remember, if you want something, even if you don't see any possible way right now - even if you're not on a team - don't give up!!!

Have a wonderful day!!
Peace and Love,
Alannah

5 comments:

Silver James said...

Okay. I'm sitting here sniffling now. My DD was a catcher. She was really good, too. Gold level. College scholarship. And she loved the position. Her first "serious" coach told me, "Catchers aren't made, they're born." She dragged her own gear to tournaments even when the bag was bigger than she was. Because of the eye injury and surgeries, she had to give up fastpitch. She misses it. A lot. So do I.

What amazing sons you've raised, Alannah! Enjoy them. Learn from them. Love them. And may he get to be the starting catcher!

*sniffle* I think I'm going to drag out some scrapbooks now....

Liza said...

Congrats to Youngest Alannah! My grandfather was a catcher and tried out for the Cards years ago(he couldn't keep his weight up, so he didn't make the team). Catching well is very hard(I actually was a catcher for softball when I was pretty young, very funny since I was the smallest girl on the team). Good for Youngest for sticking it out and going for what he really wants.

Janet C. said...

THAT - was a wonderful story of determination and vision. Thank you.

Now, I'm going to open up my current WIP and get to work.

Alannah Lynne said...

Silver, maybe your daughter could coach softball. I know in our area they're always desperate for coaches.

Liza - kidlet is the smallest guy on the team - even having grown 1" in 3 months he's still a shrimp. But the coaches like that, they say it makes a smaller target for the pitchers and helps them to be more accurate.

And as I type that, I now understand why they have kidlet catch every practice but until yesterday he'd never played in a game. They're using him for practice for the pitchers! *thunks head in a V8 moment*

Janet - glad you enjoyed his story. Now get busy!! *cracks whip* LOL

Milli Thornton said...

What a heart-warming story. I gotta big lump in my throat :0)

This is such a great reminder that we should do things for the right reasons. Not because of what someone else thinks. I will try to emblazon that on my brain!!

BTW, you were apologizing for writing such a long post but I thought it was juicy :0)

I know what you mean, though. I did (and sometimes still do) have that same fear when writing blog posts. That I'll lose people if I write something long.

We are SO trained in this society to expect everything in short bursts of attention span. When I was younger (and still wrote real letters) my recipients loved getting my long, long letters. I once hand-wrote a 98-page letter to a friend - and she loved it!

Re: blogging. I set out in search of self-acceptance on the issue of long posts. Now I try to just say what *I* need to say. If people are too antsy to sit still for more than 30 seconds to read my tips, wisdom, humor or reviews, then maybe it's a problem on their end.

Judging by the comments from people who related so deeply to your story, it doesn't look like anyone was offended by the length of what you wrote! On the contrary, you had something real to share that moved us emotionally.

When I look at the mindless crap on some of the blogs out there I'd say "Go, Alannah. Unleash your heart on us!"