As of last night, our t-ball season is finished. Baseball ended a few weeks ago. It was a fun season and it reminded me how much I love the game.
Admittedly t-ball is not my favorite and at times was downright boring but the last couple games our team seemed to come to life. Bella was not interested in t-ball this season and we’ve decided that she will mostly likely sit next year out unless there is a drastic change in her. As of now, she’s beyond happy it’s over and that she doesn’t have to play next year! She wants her ears pierced but we told her she had to wait until t-ball was finished. She ran off the field last night after their game ended yelling “Yay, I can get my ears pierced!!” She did not get excited very often but she did love it when she fielded the ball and hit without the tee. She was #15 this year because she said she “was already #4 last year and didn’t want to be the same number again and wanted to be a higher number!” Logic.
As a testament to how extremely busy Brynlee is, I do not have a single picture of Bella on the field. Not one. This is our 4th year of ball and the first year that I haven’t taken photos of the kids playing. There was just no way to make it happen. Even while trying to keep up with her, I lost her last night! One minute I could see her and the next second, she vanished. I stayed calm because it is such a small place that I knew she couldn’t have gotten far but I was completely puzzled. After what felt like forever, another mom realized I was looking for my child and she pointed to her lap- there sat Brynlee. She was about 2 steps away from where I had last watched her but my view was blocked of her. Crisis averted. Trying to watch a t-ball game and keep up with a wild 2 year old is… I don’t even know the words. Brynlee is much more curious and more independent than either of our other 2 were at her age. Bella stayed with me at Bryson’s games and it was never an issue. Brynlee is impossible to keep still for any amount of time so I was forced to let her play and visit with the fans or fight a screaming 2 year old who thinks sitting in a chair is the equivalent of being in a straight-jacket. Bryson’s games were so bad because Justin was with me but he was on the field for Bella’s games so I had her on my own. After 3 kids you’d think that was no big deal, but like everything else in her life- she’s a little more high maintenance than our big kids were at her age.
This was Bryson’s first year of coach-pitch 7 & 8 baseball. He enjoyed playing and hanging out with the boys. When we first signed him up, he was iffy about it. After his first practice he was totally into it and excited about playing! That feeling lasted throughout the season and it was fun for his dad and I to watch him. He was #4 and played right field most games. The movements (throwing, swinging) don’t come to him naturally so he was a bit awkward but never gave up. He overthinks and I could see him replaying certain plays in his mind out on the field. He is his mama’s child. He ended up hitting about 50% of the time and learned his position well. We were proud! He had a great attitude on the field and never walked off defeated which means a lot to me. He definitely wants to play again next year so we will be working with him so he feels more comfortable in the field and batter’s box. Overall we were super proud of how much he improved during the season, his attitude, and how he made friends. He’s battled anxiety since my dad’s diagnosis so seeing him work his way out of that shell he built around himself was possibly my favorite part of the season.
Bryson decided he wants to play football and as much as I don’t want him to, I left that decision up to his dad. So it looks like we will be back on the field after a short summer break.
As the season comes to an end, I must reflect back on how far I’ve come in the last year. I didn’t make it to all of the games last year and I don’t recall making it to any practices. It was my first time sitting in the stands without my dad beside me and it was so painful. That pain is still there this year but it’s different. I’m not completely bitter though I still absolutely have my moments. When other kids have 6 grandparents at a single t-ball game and there is no one there to cheer my kids on other than Justin, Brynlee, and I- it hurts. But this year I was able to look at those families and while I am envious of what they have- I am also happy for them. It’s bittersweet to hear a little boy yell from shortstop to ask his Pawpaw for sunflower seeds when I know my son will never have that. But I smiled and I just hope those families who have grandparents who show up and involved aunts and uncles appreciate what they have- their built-in village. I didn’t realize it at the time but my dad was my village. I mean, I knew he was a huge part of my life- he kept the kids almost the entire time Brynlee was in the NICU and for every appointment until he was too sick to do so. When he died, a piece of me went with him and the largest part of my village died as well. My grandmother who is in her 70s made it to more of my kid’s games than anyone… I’m thankful she was willing to show up for them even when it was hot and not convenient. I hope they remember that. I’ve learned how important it is to show up for your children- and they never outgrow wanting you to show up for them. I’m thankful for the progress that I’ve made since last spring and for another ball season to show up for my kids. I’m proud of the work I’ve put in and the courage I’ve proven to myself to have so that I can be the happy, healthy mom who shows up now.