Saturday, March 10, 2012

Butterflies in the grass

Today was my first "butterflies in the grass" experience. The boys had their very first T-Ball game, or scrimmage rather. Dad is coaching. Both boys are playing. The boys have had very little exposure to organized sports. Neither one is very aggressive. They aren't typically motivated by competitive behavior or trying new things, which is almost all the more reason that I really wanted them to play T-Ball.

First, I had to bribe them with a promise of slushies after the game to motivate them  not to fight me about getting in uniform, getting out the door, and going onto the field. Check. Success.

They seemed to be okay at following directions... but in the dugout, instead of watching their teammates, it was much more fun to walk back and forth on the bench, put their gloves over their faces, and try and stick body parts through the fence. However, they stayed in there the entire time and were eager to bat when it was their time up. Check. Success.

The first bat for both boys went well. Although after the game and with a little analysis, we've discovered that Mama's Boy is definitely left handed when it comes to sports. Oops. We'll be getting a new glove and doing some training. But both boys hit fairly well and on the first try. Mama's boy ran after the ball to throw it to first after he hit it, but we quickly directed him to put it down and run to first. And he did. Check. Success.

Fielding was our butterfly moment. I figured there must be butterflies in the grass, because all my boys did was aimlessly wander around as if there were something much more important going on beside a baseball game. Like beautiful, exotic, unique butterflies just silently muttering to be found. They were low in the ground, so naturally the boys had to lay in the grass to try and hear them. They were playing a game of "guess where I am", because the boys were turning their bodies in every direction, backward, forward, sideways, and around. The butterflies were searching for food, so of course the boys needed to pick some grass and throw it up so they could catch it and munch on it. They were playing a game of "I'm going to land on your head", so naturally the boys needed to protect themselves by laying their gloves atop their heads.  Hands were in the air trying to catch what I can only imagine to be butterflies. But I can't say I blame them. I love butterflies too. Mama's boy only ran off the field twice, and once I reminded him there were snacks afterwards he quickly ran back out. Check. Success.

Even with those darn distracting butterflies, I thought the boys did so well. When asked what their favorite part about playing today, Big Brother responded with "throwing the ball". Mama's Boy responded with "going through the tunnel". (The tunnel is when all the parents make a tunnel with their arms for the kids to run through at the end of the game). It was so fun to be out there watching them learn. Watching them struggle, have fun, make a mistake, have a success. I feel like they are growing up so fast. I know that every game and every practice will be an improvement.

And while I'm certainly not on a determined track to make my kids star players, there is a satisfaction involved as a parent when your child learns something new, and recognizes it. I'm so proud of my boys. I'm thankful for an extremely patient husband who is willing to teach these cutie kids how to be a team. I am grateful for wonderful friends to socialize with and share laughs with at practices and games. And I am grateful for the team parents, who give me faith that there are still a lot of decent amazing parents out there who love and care about their children enough to come to t-ball practices and games, so their children can learn and have fun. I am grateful for the kids on the team, for being such good kids. Sometimes you can get stuck with bratty kids on your team. Not ours! Every single one is sweet and darn right darling. I love getting to know them all. What a fun adventure this will be for our little family... even if there are butterflies in the grass.