Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Aching With Pride

Water Valley, MS> Baseball for 11-14 year olds can be a pain for parents. You want to support your child. You are at the ball park almost every night. You watch, you hope your child and team does well. But every now and then a parent experiences something that can break your heart with pride or wound you to the bottom of it. We forget when we were that age and the feel of a glove on your hand, the feel of the bat in your hands, facing a fast pitcher in a big, close game was the most important thing there was. Then something happens that makes you remember. Last night was one of those nights.
The score was 4-0 and Spencers' team could not hit the ball or score. Spencer had gotten a hit early and managed to get on base. It looked hopeless for the home team. The bottom of the last inning came and Spencers' team started a rally. The lead off batter managed a great fly ball and made it to third. He then stole home. (4-1) next batter gets to first and manages to make it around and score also after being driven in. (4-2) 1 out, the next couple of batters do the same, making the score (4-3) with two outs and men on first and second. Guess who comes to the plate? Spencer.
Every parent has been in the position I was in. Hoping for the best, secretly fearing the worst.
He looked like the smallest kid on the field and my heart went out to him as he worked the count till it was full at 3 balls and 2 strikes. The windup, the pitch! The crack of the bat shocked me as the ball flew deep into the outfield and nestled against the fence. Spencer shot around the bases like a streak of lightning for a game winning homerun! The game was over!
My heart almost burst with pride! Then like in movies you see, his team picked him up and carried him on their shoulders off the field. This small kid that I recognized as myself years ago, became the hero. Maybe for a short time, but a time he and I will always remember.
Thank you God for the gifts you have given me.

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