Last year it was soccer...and that didn't go so well. Ben really didn't like playing, he didn't like his coach, he didn't like much of anything about soccer except his uniform. And as a side note...while we quit soccer after about 4 games and a LOT of tears...we do still wear the uniform on a regular basis to play soccer in the yard!
So this year Ben wanted to play T-Ball. And so again we bought all the gear...the pants, shoes, hat, shirt, socks, glove etc. etc. And last week we headed off to practice. The first practice went fairly well - only a few bouts of tears. So when the first game came around I though we were golden. But alas...the second Ben stepped out of the car at the baseball complex the fear started. "Mom...I'm afraid to run the bases...what if I don't know where they are?" "Mom...I don't think I will be able to catch the ball if someone throws it to me!" "Mom...can I just go home?" And the tears quickly followed the questions as he knew at that moment that I was not letting him quit and that he WOULD play T-Ball this season!
We spent most of the time during our first game with our head down, looking like the end of the world was nearing. He refused to bat and just stood in the outfield looking at the grass as if to count every piece over and over again. He took the "If I don't make eye contact with anyone I am not really here" approach to the game!
On the way home from this first game Ben didn't talk much. And when we got home he showed great remorse for not giving the game a try. He said he was embarrassed that all the kids got up to bat and that he had not tried. I assured him that we would be going back in just two days for another game and that he would have another chance at it all.
One of our neighbors is a T-Ball coach for his sons team. I let Mr. Scott know of Ben's rough first game! Well that was all we had to tell Scott and by that afternoon he had the cul-de-sac all ready for a neighborhood game of T-Ball. Bases laid out - batting helmets ready - and about 6 kids to play the game with Ben.
Ben took his first swing at the ball in our neighborhood baseball arena and it soared across the street. His friends yelled "Run Ben...."...and so he did. All the way around the bases! It was a mental victory for my little man! Thank you Scott - you helped more than you could ever know!
So Tuesday comes and Game day is upon us. Ben with his new found confidence hits the t-ball field. He is visibly scared, but holding his own with no tears...just a look of dread! And that my friends...is progress in its own right!
Ben's time to bat comes and he looks at me like he is about the throw up! I helped him get his batting helmet on and pick a bat...he walked slowly to the "T"...he looks at me and says "Mom...if I do this will you run the bases with me?" and so of course I say "Yep buddy - let's go...i'm here with you!"
Ben swings the ball with all his might and the ball flies right down the first base line. Ben and I are running with everything we have in us....and when we arrive at the base I realize a terrible thing....BEN IS OUT! Oh my....this can't be? Ben's coach looks at me and said...Renee..just stay there...he is running them all! (Thank goodness the other coach was nice enough to understand the need for a scoring run here...Ben would never know it didn't count!!)
And so it went...Ben ran the bases...batted again...and ended up scoring 2 points for his team in the end. He also stopped several balls from heading out to the far field and he had some great throws!
This blog is intended to brag about Ben...to show that even the greatest fear can be overcome with love, support and sticking with it...and to thank all of the mom's and kids and neighbors and coaches who helped to make it possible for Ben to ask, "Mom...when is my next game...I can't wait!!"