Many years ago, one of my children (I can’t remember which one) wanted to play baseball. My philosophy at that time was that if one was going to do something, all four of them should give it a try. So, I signed everyone up for baseball/softball through the local YMCA – which takes the time to teach kids how to play the game and lets everyone play regardless of skill level.
So, Jenny, my oldest had her first taste of baseball when she was about 12 years old. She had never really participated in a sport before, but she knew that she had practice once a week with a bunch of girls (so far, so good) and a game once a week with a bunch of girls (again, no problem). She was okay at hitting the ball and she usually played outfield where there was no danger of getting really dirty. At that age, the YMCA does not teach the girls to slide into bases yet, so their uniforms consisted of a YMCA t-shirt of blue, a ball cap of the same color – the girls could wear whatever shorts, socks and shoes they wanted. Blue was a good color for Jenny and she had just the right shorts to go with the shirt. If she did her hair just right, the ball cap would actually be cute. So, as far as Jenny was concerned, softball was okay.
Then came the day of the first game. It was a beautiful, sunny day. Jenny had spent a lot of time getting ready for the ‘big’ event and we were now running a little late. So, as Jenny came down the steps to the car, I took note of her outfit to make sure she had everything – softball glove – check; baseball cap (the one that belonged to her and not one of her siblings) – check; YMCA team shirt – check; appropriate shorts (very cute blue ones with white stars which matched her team shirt) – check; socks (which matched outfit of course) – check; tennis shoes – check. No wait – let me look at those shoes one more time, something wasn’t quite right. Sure enough, Jenny was wearing boots! What the heck?!?
“You can’t wear those boots – where are your tennis shoes?”
“I have to wear the boots!”
“Why? Did you lose your tennis shoes?”
“No – but the boots go with the outfit! The tennis shoes just weren’t the right thing for this outfit.”
“Go change into your tennis shoes – you can’t play in boots.”
“But it will ruin the outfit!”
Now – fast forward 20 years. Jenny’s daughter, Lizzie is now playing baseball. She has embraced it in much the same way her mother did – she has to make sure she is wearing the ‘right’ shorts with her team shirt and we solved the tennis shoe issue by buying rainbow-colored tennis shoes with sparkles. She even has a pink baseball glove. No problems there! However, a spark of her mother peeked through this past week when I told her that her baseball season was over – she only has one game left.
“I only have one game left?”
“Yes – no more games on Saturday until next year.”
“Oh thank goodness. I don’t think I could wear tennis shoes one more Saturday! I need to wear sandals with these shorts.”
The two of them are definitely in a league of their own.