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Not the herding of cats that four-year-olds soccer is

April 18, 2008

So Ian had his first baseball practice last night.

He’s in a coach-pitch league, and his team is the Florida Marlins.  (Hey, at least it’s not the YankMe’s.)  I had a harder time with keeping quiet than I thought I would.  The coach had everyone take the field (most all of them congregated at, and fought over who got to stand on, second base) and threw BP to each kid.  Ian went to right, and realized almost instantaneously that right field sucks.  So while he was standing out there, I went out behind him to give him some pointers, as most well-intentioned dads do.  After about 15 minutes, I realized I was less giving pointers and more pissing him off (as most well-intentioned dads do)- basically, it was when he turned around and asked me, “are you going to stand back there during the whole practice?”- and so I went back to standing behind the bench with Dawn and waiting for the beer guy.

Friggin’ dude never came.

Anyway, imagine my surprise when I discovered that Ian actually listened to me in that 15 minutes.  He had a couple balls hit to him occasionally, but on those that weren’t, he was hustling all over the field, backing up the throws to whichever base the kids were throwing.  Um, to.  Or something like that.  I was delighted!

I just have to remember that I’m not his coach.  I’m not trying to live out my unfulfilled sports fantasies through my son (I despise parents like that!!!), but I still want to try to give him what little advice I can.  Gimme a break; I’m his daddy.  If his coach asks me to, I’ll be happy to help with the kids, but I just have to remember to back off, shut up, and let Ian improve and make mistakes.

But I was very proud watching him.  He’s never played “organized” baseball- meaning he’s only played “pickup” games at school and what not- because he spent all of last summer in leg braces due to underdeveloped hammies.  In addition to the aforementioned backing up of throws, he got some pretty good cuts in when it was his turn to hit.  And he seemed to love it.  I thought at first that might be an issue when he said to me at one point while standing in right field, “nobody even knows I’m out here”.  But after it was over he just beamed and talked about how awesome the whole thing was.

He’s supposed to have practice tomorrow at the dog park, but the weather being what it is currently, I’m not sure if that will happen or not.

There is no better game in the world than baseball, folks, especially when played by kids.  As it was meant to be.

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