Now, that’s cute.
That was my first impression of the blog banner that used to reside on April’s page, The Stories of Our Boys. Not because of that sweet, smiling mom (well, kinda), but the fact that her kids sat in matching Washington Nationals gear? Idyllic.
See, it’s not that way among the Coach Daddy children.
One’s an Anaheim Angels fan, like my dad. The second likes the Boston Red Sox. Grace picked the Texas Rangers and got a ration of h*ll from me because they lost to my Colorado Rockies last night. They love to pick on my Rockies.
Today, April’s here to tell about her boys’ baseball experience, of miles traveled and moved to, of allegiances and an on-again, off-again love affair with the game. I happen to love the piece she’s written for this blog.
Please give April a warm CD welcome, and check out her blog. She just wrote a great post about 36 things she learned turning 36. I hope when I turn 36, I’ll be able to craft something as classy. Thanks, April.
How the Army took Baseball from Us
Okay. Now, first of all, the Army did not literally take baseball from us. And yet it did. We didn’t have to let it happen, but we’re tired people, and so we did.
See, we have four sons, between the ages of 11 and 3. It’s exhausting, but it’s adorable. It reminds me of when I was little and living in rural Alabama and our dog would have puppies. Those puppies were work, but they were so cute and cuddly it didn’t matter.
We have played tee-ball and baseball over the years, ever since they were each 4 or 5 years old. The first two hated it from the beginning.
We tried to win them over by taking them to Washington Nationals games and buying them tons of popcorn and soda. But to no avail. They liked going to the games and eating all that food, but they still did not want to “ruin their own Saturdays” by signing up for baseball again.
So we stopped signing them up. Why torture everyone?
And then it finally happened!!! THEY finally asked US to play baseball!! We were so excited.
Last year I started playing ball with Caleb in the yard and giving him tons of positive reinforcement. He was eight, but he was outstanding.
We knew he’d grow bored with it if he didn’t have a friend to play on the same team.
We were lucky. There was a boy next door who was also a little athlete, and we recruited him to play ball on Caleb’s team. My husband even signed up to coach their team. It was a smash of a season. Everyone had so much fun, and Caleb and his buddy Aiden felt like rock stars out there.
This is where the Army comes in. What the Army does to its families is difficult. Sure, we enjoy getting to see the country, sometimes the world, but that doesn’t make it easy.
As soon as summer hit, we moved again, all the way across the country to Georgia. I hoped Caleb would transition right back into playing baseball here.
There’s no misery in baseball!
None of his friends here play baseball. Not one. And baseball isn’t a joke here either. This town is baseball crazy. Maybe it’s the proximity we have to the Braves. I don’t know.
“Well, that’s okay,” we reasoned…..” We’ll make new friends.” We enrolled him in a camp and hoped for the best. Alan stayed to see how it went for him.
Not so fast. Not so easy.
He tried, but it was 30 degrees hotter than North California, even in January, and have I mentioned that a couple of my boys have not acclimated to the Georgia heat yet? No one really talked to him. He was hungry, thirsty, and DONE.
Done with baseball.
There were so many if-only’s. If only we had tried harder or fed him before camp or ..or..or… And it’s not that baseball is so important. It’s that it WAS important to Caleb only last year, so it broke my heart for him.
But it just wasn’t to be. We’ve done this too many times to force him to sign up for spring ball this year. It would be a battle just to get him to go to practice, and for what? Kids don’t even perform when they are miserable.
Finding his game
We’re looking into art lessons for him. He’s a creative and talented artist. We’ll keep trying new sports to see if he finds one he likes.
My husband and I love baseball the best, but it’s not our turn. It’s their turn. I hope they find something they enjoy.
Meanwhile, we still have 2 more sons willing to give baseball a shot. This year is Daniel’s 3rd year of tee-ball. That’s right. We are keeping expectations low and cheering them on!
It isn’t just the Army, is it? It’s life. The people change, the places change, and you have to find a new way to thrive. That’s our job, to help them thrive no matter what happens. Army strong! Or should we say, Army kid strong!
April Alan is a blogger for Stories Of Our Boys and Monterey Premier. She is a proud military spouse and mother of four boys. When she isn’t writing, she is praying for sanity as she frantically tries to keep up with the housework and get the kids to school on time. She blogs about faith, motherhood, and life in general. Stop by and say hello.