Responsible parenting and leadership are a start. In between reaching for the sky (Toy Story rocks).

Screw the darkness. I prefer the lightness of Pop.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

That Lift of Heart and Soul

(Bea and Me)

The part where Amanda Whurlizer strikes out the boys. #GirlPower

That's the Tatum O'Neal character from the very funny and uncomfortably dark 1976 classic The Bad News Bears. Video shorts of Coach Buttermaker (Walter Matthau) and team, and my own fond memories of playing baseball, kept playing in my head during Little League opening day here in Santa Cruz.

A few weeks ago Beatrice started talking about her kindergarten classmates playing T-ball (which she actually thought was soccer at first, but who's keeping score, right?) and she really wanted to play. The Mama and I never want to push Beatrice or Bryce into any sport or activity that they don't want to try. Even then, we'll do our best to temper our competitive enthusiasm if either one gets really good at whatever they're involved in.

Strike that -- I'll do my best to temper my competitive enthusiasm. It has nothing to do of overcompensating for not having a boy, because I have two very capable girls who will be empowered to try and embrace whatever they want, no matter their prowess. Just like when Beatrice took martial arts last year, something that really helped boost her confidence and coordination.

But I am more of the competitive one in the family, and I do like winning. And although I don't ever plan on being one of those disruptive parents on the field, I do plan on encouraging and cheering on my girls "enthusiastically."

Opening day for Beatrice and her T-ball teammates was an unusually hot Spring day and thankfully we (the parents) had plenty of water on hand. I had dressed Bea before we left, and while she might have looked a little disheveled, she had the glow of a star ball player. The other dads said they loved how I pulled her red socks up like the old stirrup socks of old. (However, the Mama thankfully straightened her up before her team pictures.)

On the way to opening day we stopped to buy her first glove and she immediately picked a sweet little red one, to match her uniform of course. Mercy me gloves are expensive. Wait, the whole friggin' sports thing is expensive, but again, who's keeping score, right? Sigh. It's only just begun.

They didn't actually play a game on opening day, but they did run through skills training with the older kids in Little League: catching, throwing, fielding grounders, running the bases and hitting the ball off the tee.

By the way, Beatrice is the only girl on the team and the biggest kid by far. She continues to amaze me. Watching her play and really trying to learn the fundamentals while having fun lifted my heart and soul with so much love and pride. Granted, we really haven't played the game much with her, if at all, but she hung tough and worked hard on each and every skill. And when it came time to hit that ball -- whack! -- she hit that ball like a boss.

And that's what we want Beatrice to experience no matter what sports or activities she plays: win or lose, that lift of heart and soul.

But assistant coach Kevin will always take more win. Amen. #PlayBall #GirlPower





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