Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Isaac Begins Baseball.

Yesterday, Halis and I became parents with a child who is enrolled in a sport. You know - the parents that have to get their kid to his practice on time, who watch their child's every move to be sure that he is safe, the parents who endlessly root for their baby, who eye the coach carefully to make sure that he is being fair to their little man, and the parents who politely (but firmly) ask the other kid to stop shoving their child, etc...

What a transformation in the relationship between parent and child. This was Isaac's first time being taught by anyone other than his Mommy or Daddy. The first time he was sent off into a group to learn, share, play and communicate entirely on his own. It was a bit scary for me... and maybe for him.

Because there were so many kids at this first day of practice, Daddy wanted to stand by Isaac (as other parents did with their children) in order to walk him through his very first group experience. However, I was set on letting Isaac find his way through it without our help. But after a few bouts of utter chaos, and a look of fear on Isaac's face, Daddy decided to walk his little man through the practice. This turned out to be a good idea, as one particular kid kept shoving Isaac ... and Daddy gave him a bit of a talking to.

Anyway - it seems that many parents prepared their children for this first practice and "assessment day". In order to create teams, all children had to be assessed for their skill levels in various areas of baseball (throwing, hitting, running, etc). I had no idea about this - as I thought Isaac was going to be taught everything he needed to know by his coaches. Well - believe me - there were those competitive parents who must have been practicing with their 4 year-olds for months in order to have their kids rated at the highest levels. I even heard one Dad angrily shout... "I told you, look me in the eye when I am throwing the ball to you!!!" Wow. Ok. That is so not us.

So - our kid looked like a bit of a doofus. He had no idea what he was suppossed to do in any of the areas of assessment. (I guess watching Disney's Chicken Little and various Red Sox games did nothing to help his understanding of the game). But he was smiling! And Mom & Dad kept telling him how great he was.

When it was time to hit the ball off the T - Isaac would slam the T instead. When it was time to run the bases - Isaac would just run around chasing the other kids in an effort to play tag. When it was time to catch the baseball - Isaac thought it was fun to just let it roll between his legs. Good times. But by the end of it --- at the very last assessment ---and due to our loving instruction --- Isaac slammed the ball right off the T in what might have been a Grand Slam hit were he in the middle of a game (Ok, maybe not - but at least a single). And he was proud. And hungry. And done. And wanted Home now. And so did we.

So now we are a baseball family. At least for the next couple months. And Isaac will learn much while playing this sport --- that which I cannot teach him at home: commitment to team, teamwork, sportsmanship, respect for Coach, etc. This is good. But let me tell you -- if that kid shoves my baby again, I am so going to kick his Mama's ass --- good sportsmanship be damned.



Perla said...

it is definitely a strange feeling when your first child participates in his first group activity like that. we are now quite seasoned veterans with soccer.

its so interesting how each city or state has their way of introducing kids to sports. i'm not sure that i like the assessing idea at age 4, but i'm sure it will work out just fine. you should see addie out doing ballet on the field during a soccer game. i like to get my kids to at least pay as much attention to the coach as possible because it is important to pay attention some times to be able to learn, but i also like them to just figure it out on their own and have a good time.
anyway, great photos. i look forward to hearing more about his baseball experience@

Tammy said...

lol, I've got your back. ;D How sweet of you guys to love this little man to pieces. He is such a doll and so lucky to have two caring people in his life such as yourselves. Baseball may not be his forte' but it will be a great learning experience. He is so young still and it is good like you implied to let him enjoy the experience and not yelling at him to look into your eyes.
Have fun and enjoy his sucesses with him, like you have been. You sound like such great parents. You all 3 are lucky ot have one another.