The Tovsky Tribe

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Friday, February 26, 2010

Baseball Mom

I started playing softball when I was 7 years old.  My very best friend in my seven year old world, Alyssa, convinced me to play the game much to the satisfaction of my athletic father.  Our team wore golden yellow uniform t-shirts, with BRONCOS written in Black.  My jersey number was 11, the first of only two times I ever wore a number other than 8.  I do not remember anything else about my first year of ball other than these details, but it was the beginning of the11 year stint of my softball career.

I have tons of memories of playing ball, most fond, though not all.  When I was ten, I started playing 12-under travel ball.  My coaches were a married couple, Mr. and Mrs. McCue, and they became the fundamental molders of my skills.  The basics, the knowledge, the foundation...and a lot of McDonald's drive thru's.  Of course, for those of you who have seen me play a field position, their credibility could be shot, as I had a wandering eye to the boys on the ball field next door and a wandering mind to the poetry in the wind. But intellectually, I know the fundamental basics of the game from the skills to the strategy.

So now Chase and Ryder have discovered the joys of baseball.  Typical of three year olds, this new fondness comes along with an obsession that begins as their eyes open at 7am.  "Mommy, I want to play baseball," words I always wanted to hear, now come to me at an irritating octave located somewhere on the pitch scale between "whine" and "excited shriek." 

So we play!  Indoors!  In the sunroom with wiffle balls when we are batting and when throwing, the soft hardball Pop-Pop bought each of them while still in the NICU!  And, they each have to use the ball with their own name on it.  God forbid I should toss the Ryder ball at Chase, that would be a sure act of betrayal.

Ryder is interested in playing but not more so than he is interested in being Spiderman or jamming on his guitar.  Usually, when he plays, he is dressed in what he calls his Benny outfit.  Benny is the main character in the baseball movie Sandlot, a favorite of his, and when he dresses like Benny baseball is his game.  He seems to enjoy playing, the way he enjoys everything, but has a three year old attention span and is checking out the trains, or cars, or kitchen around him, reminding me very much of myself.

Chase focuses well beyond his years, as we would expect.  Fiercely concentrating on every word and every action convinced that each and every day he gets a little bit better. He wants to play!  He wants to be good!  And, he is.  For a three year old!  He can throw hard and straight.  He can hit hard and straight.  We are working on his fielding, which is less than stellar.  He looks like a ball player and he believes he is a ball player.  He likes the way it sounds when the ball hits the bat!  I love it!

I love baseball. I am glad my boys do too!  I hope the continue to.  I hope they become real ball players.  OOH, I hope to be a baseball mom.

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