So, I’m walking through the sporting goods store and the closer I get to the baseball section, the harder I am having to fight back the tears. It’s just a bat. Just an ordinary, every day t-ball bat. So why the heck was I turning into a slobbery, wet mess?
I picked up a bat, wrapped my hands around the grip, pulled it back over my shoulder and gave it a swing. Instantly I was back on the baseball field. During my sixth year of dance lessons, I told my mom that I wanted to play baseball. I begged her to let me play. Finally she gave up her dreams of me being elegant and graceful and agreed to sign me up for little league. I was the only girl on my team and I worked hard to earn my spot at first base. I loved it. I lived for it.
The next two years I continued to be the only girl on my team. Finally when I was in seventh grade I joined the girls softball team at school. That year the county also opened up an all girls softball league. I was in heaven! Every spring I lived in my own little softball world. When I wasn’t at practice or at a game, I was in the backyard playing softball with somebody.
When I started high school, I was one of only three other girls that made the varsity team as a freshman! I was ecstatic. I had dreams of going to college on a softball scholarship, maybe even making an all star team somewhere down the line. I looked forward to being out of college and getting the opportunity to coach a team of my own. Softball was my world.
Things change. Life takes turns. I made choices. And now softball isn’t a part of my life. I coached a little while I was in college and played a couple of seasons of church league here and there, but for the most part, I rarely get to play softball anymore. I think about it a lot and I really miss it.
So imagine my excitement yesterday as Carter asked me to come outside and play baseball with him! He didn’t want to use the plastic bat, but he insisted on using my old, beat up metal bat that has electric tape around where the handle grip used to be. He stood out there and swung that bat for almost an hour only hitting the ball two or three times, but he never got tired of trying!
My heart was so excited. Maybe he will like baseball. Maybe I will get the chance to coach his team or simply cheer him on. Maybe I will finally have someone who will share my love of the game.
As I walked back and forth in the store, trying out bat after bat, I remembered all those growing up years of hurrying to the sporting goods aisle of a store and practicing my swing. I finally chose a bat for Carter and went to check out. Once I made it back to the car, the flood of tears started all over again. I just smiled and thanked God for all the happy memories and asked Him to help me start making some more with my own little boy. Maybe it’s hormones. Maybe I’m a bit sentimental. But it’s the simple things that I treasure. I didn’t just buy a bat, today; I bought a bat filled with future memories.