Chris ordered a camera battery charger for me last week and saved my pictures. And my blog. So, now we are back to regularly scheduled programming.
Last weekend, we had Bean’s first tee ball game and Opening Ceremonies for the league. This is his first year playing tee ball, so we were new to all of it. And, man, it did NOT disappoint!
Bean is LOVING baseball. He loves all parts – throwing, catching, batting. He likes practice and he really loved his first game. He has a great coach, and if we have learned anything from team sports in the past couple of years, it’s that the coach makes all the difference in your experience. At first, we thought the coach was going to be a little too intense. He is definitely ALL baseball, ALL the time.
He expects a lot of out of his players, which made me a little nervous at first because they are only five years old. But, what is expects has turned out to be all the things we wanted Bean to get out of a team sport – responsibility, teamwork, perseverance, and your best effort. I also really like that he talks a big talk with the kids, but he is actually really easy to please. As long as the kids are trying, he is really proud of them, no matter how well they play.
In this league, every kid gets to hit and they all get on base. There are no outs, either, so they always score a home run! At first, I was like, “But that’s not the real way to play!” but the first time Bean rounded third and made it home with this ginormous smile on his face, it all made sense to me. As far as I’m concerned, that’s the best rule ever! Next year, when they move up to coach pitch, they’ll play with the real rules, but for Bean’s first experience, this has been wonderful. Never doubt the YMCA.
We have had several experience with YMCS sports. It’s the only league we’ve ever had our kids play a sport in, actually. And we continue to be more and more impressed. They focus on all the right things – character, leadership, responsibility. They begin each game with a prayer and they end each game with a handshake. And not only is it teaching Bean how to become a little man, but he has a great time! He’s never joined a team with a friend, and that’s been a conscious decision for our family. We feel like it’s good for our kids to meet new people and learn to be a team with new friends. And I’m amazed at how quickly Bean and his teammates form friendships when they are playing a sport together.
(Sidenote: See in that picture above how almost all the kids are playing in the dirt? Bean’s coach can yell out at any time during practice, “WHAT’S RULE NUMBER ONE?” and the team will yell back, “DON’T PLAY IN THE DIRT!” I crack up every time!)
After the game, Bean came out to meet his fans… er, family. And, boy, did we pack the stands! Chris’s sister, Annie, and her boyfriend, Justin, were there cheering.
And, of course, my mom and Grandma came down for the game and cheered louder than the rest of the crowd put together.
After the game, we walked with Bean’s team over to the bigger fields where they had Opening Ceremonies. All the teams in the league paraded out onto the field, team by team, and we all cheered. They said a prayer over the season for safety and sportsmanship and they thanked all the league sponsors, coaches, and parents. It was a pretty fun morning!
Sports are good. They are good for kids and good for families. They are awfully demanding on the schedule (I’m already worried about when the kids get older!), but they are worth the time, I think, for what we all get out of the experience.
My father used to play with my brother and me in the yard. Mother would come out and say, ‘You’re tearing up the grass’; ‘We’re not raising grass,’ Dad would reply. ‘We’re raising children.’ ~ Harmon Killebrew