Sunday, June 17, 2012

Progress—or, There IS Spinning in Baseball

Two years ago I took Jack to our first Montgomery Cheetahs practice. It wasn't hockey practice though, it was an unofficial baseball practice put together by some of the Cheetahs dads. We didn't know anyone. Jack didn't like baseball. It was hot.

It didn't go super well. (<—That link is well worth reading.)

I didn't beat myself up over the experience, but we haven't been back to any of the baseball gatherings either.

Until today.

Just like two years ago, Alex was out of town, so it was my three kiddos and me. And just like two years ago, I got lost on the way to the field. (Directions: the field is on the right side of the road just past the one-lane bridge and sixteen meters to the left of the magical elephant.)

It is rare to have such a perfect mirror, with images two years apart, to be able to see the progress your child has made.

And progress—he has made it.

We had a GREAT time this morning. All three of my kids played for the whole practice. Sam has been wanting to play baseball recently, so he was beyond excited to be there. Sam is a good kid. Like, a really good kid. I love how much he loves to play sports and that he's thrilled to be an honorary Cheetah for baseball.

He found his baseball hat from the team he was on two years ago.

Quinn initially looked like he might be some trouble (he was the only one resistant to going this morning), but once he he realized that there is running in baseball, he turned into the most eager fielder I have seen. He was all, "I have it!" and "Outta my way!"

I call this photo "Wind Tunnel Quinn."

He was an eager batter too.

And Jack? Every time his bat hit the ball, even when it was his turn to hit multiple balls in a row, he insisted on running the bases. Every ball he hit was a home run, according to him. Jack knows how to make his own joy, that is for sure. He was a happy little fielder too, although he did more spinning than running after balls, which is fine by me.

Quinn was there to get the balls after all.

What's more, all three of them are excited about baseball now. They are excited to go back next week. It is quite a change from the last time we were here. They have all grown and matured. It is amazing what a couple of years can do.

Remember that. It is amazing what a couple of years can do.

Whether you have a typical child or a special needs kiddo, IT IS AMAZING WHAT A COUPLE OF YEARS CAN DO. Hang in there.

Over the course of the past two years, Jack has grown more interested in sports, has gotten better at waiting turns and being patient, and has started to understand how it feels to be part of a team. He is able to take what he has learned at hockey and apply it to baseball. He is more invested in life outside himself than he was then.

After a really tough year at school, it was really nice to see that he really isn't in stasis. I can see that maybe he went backward in some ways, but in other very important ways, he is moving forward.

Naturally, next week when no one wants to play baseball and all three of them are assholes, I'll be all, "Why can't they be cooperative like all the other kids?!" and you will say, "Two steps forward, one step back is still progress," and I will be like, "I guess. Thanks."

Or maybe we'll take three steps forward in a row. Sometimes that happens. If anyone can do it, it is this guy.

Play ball!


  1. Hooray!  This post makes me unbelievably happy.
    Also, I envy your sunshine.  (If I was there I'd probably whine about the heat and humidity, but I'm not so I get to whine about our cold and damp).

  2. Whoo Hoo!
    That is the type of progress I love. The one that sneaks up on you when you're trying something that hasn't gone well in the past and you have all the exit strategies planned and wow just like that your kids amaze the hell out of you and you say "we can do this!!"
    I love that. Yay team Stimey!

  3. Fantastic! And my mantra has always been that things change. Indeed, things will be different in two years.

  4. That is so fantastic, I've got a massive grin of happiness for you. 2 years can make a huge difference :)

  5. You speak the truth.

  6. So true. It IS amazing what a couple of years can do. One of the only good reasons to ever look back: to see how far you've come!

  7. What a beautiful gift, knowing how to make your own joy!

  8. Kvelling! I love that Jack knows how to make his own joy.

  9. Love this! It is an important lesson to remember...I struggle with this one all the time. Hope next week goes as well!

  10. Nice.  I have to go back in time and look at the previous baseball blog. . . 

  11. I'm sure this conversation was a bit of a downer, but it made me laugh at his matter-of-factness. . . and plus you've had two years to get over it apparently:

    Me: "Jack, I think we're lost. We might not be able to make it to baseball practice. If we can't go would you be a lot sad or a little sad?"Jack: "I won't be sad at all."Sam: "Because you don't like baseball?"Jack: "Yeah."Good times. 

  12. I love your kids.  Just love them.  And the fact you can look back and see progress?   That's awesome.  Sometimes I forget to do just that.  Thanks for the reminder.  

  13.  That conversation is maybe one of my favorite conversations I've had with my kids ever. I especially love how the obviousness of Jack's distaste for baseball was so clear to Sam and not to me.

  14. Yay, Jack!  I had a similar mirror experience earlier this year with Princess and Birdie and their Second Grade Musical.  It is really nice to get some much needed perspective on the progress our kids make over time, and I find it usually comes from the most unexpected places.  :)  Who'd have thought I would tear up over Princess's improved ability to handle being in a crowded space while she was singing "It's Raining Cats and Dogs"?  (so very much not a tear-jerker of a song)

    Here's hoping for three steps forward!

  15. Hi, so the above post made me smile.  
    They actually hit the ball?  Yay.

  16. Hiking = brave.  All three enjoying the baseball outing = awesome!  Thank you for reminding those of us with quirky kids that progress happens.  

  17. Yay, Team Stimey!

    I'm on a listserve of parents of kids like my daughter and I remember when she was an infant and a big group of the kids from that list was in elementary school and I would read the parents' posts  and think "OMG, hard times are ahead!" and now, I'm there and I look to those same parents and their current email posts and realize "Thank GOD we won't always be here! It does get better!" It's a huge thing to know that.

  18. Yahoo for progress!  Also - your photo skills with the ball approaching the bat are fantastic!  Good luck next week!

  19. It is amazing what a couple years can do should be the title of your book. Totally.

  20. So nice when you can see the progress!

  21. I love Jack. Have I mentioned that before? Because he is so awesome. You are awesome too. I love how you love your kids. I also love Wind Tunnel Quinn.


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