My Hero

February 12th, 2013 posted by Family Corner Staff

baseball Trevor stepped up to the plate, bat in hand and a determined gleam in his eye. Digging in and signaling ready, he waited for the pitch. Strike one. “That’s okay, buddy, that’s just one. See the ball and hit it. You can do it.” I clapped like a mad woman, partly for him to hear and partly to keep my hands from shaking. The next pitch came in low and inside. “Strike two!” the umpire shouted. It wouldn’t have been so bad if he hadn’t been calling a shoebox strike zone for our team the entire game. I chided myself inwardly for being angry at the umpire. Trevor looked understandably rattled. Pitch number three came. Trevor gave a gallant swing and missed. I didn’t hear the umpire yell “Strike three!” because I was watching the face of my little braveheart as he ran back to the dugout. On the tip of my tongue were the words, “It’s okay, big guy, get it the next time”, but it suddenly hit me that there would be no next time. We were down by nine runs in the bottom of the fourth, about to lose the game and subsequently the tournament by the ten run rule. The reason there would be no next time was simple. Trevor only got one at-bat or one inning in the field per game. The minimum required by tournament rules. If it sounds like a mom defending her kid, let me be clear, that is precisely what I’m doing. But the truth is, I just don’t understand. Oh, I’ve done baseball for 11 years, so I understand all the strategic placement of players and playing order and all that. I also understand that Trevor has less experience than most of the other boys because this is his first year of majors. But what I also understand is that his attitude, his team spirit, his hustle, his heart for the game have never wavered throughout the tournament. Not once has he complained, not once has he questioned the coaches’ decisions, not once has he shown disrespect or any sign of feeling insignificant. He considered himself a support player, and he played the part perfectly. I was the one with the problem. It was me, with my mommy-heart in a million pieces watching my little champ head for the dugout to be promptly removed from the game. It was me who had to swallow my feelings as I had done through every other tournament game and stay in my place. It was me who had to walk down the sidewalk to cry where he couldn’t see. At the bottom of the fifth inning it became official. Our team went down by ten run rule and we were out of the tournament. I walked back toward the dugout, faintly hearing parents voicing their displeasure at how badly the umpire had called the game, hearing little pieces of consolation floating here and there. I couldn’t say anything. I was numb and my throat felt like I’d swallowed a baseball. Trevor came out of the dugout, and I saw his face register immediate concern as he saw that I was upset. Neither smile nor sunglasses can conceal tears when hearts are connected as ours are. He put his arms around me and we stood there for a while. I told him how proud I was of him. I told him he was a champion in my book. As we walked to the car, I told him I didn’t understand the coach’s strategy. I figured being honest about my struggle was the best way to go. I told him I didn’t understand how the coach could pass over a kid with such an awesome attitude, who supported his team and never complained. He stopped walking, and my little “Moose”, wise beyond his ten years, said, “Mom, it’s okay. The other boys were better than me.” There was no hint of anger, no sign of self-pity on his face. His statement was spoken simply and calmly. I wasn’t sure what to say. I swallowed hard and patted his shoulder. “Well, baby, that may be partly true, but no one beats your character. You are an all-star inside and out.” Even as I said it I knew it sounded like a platitude. Somehow, though, I knew it meant something more to him. I sensed he understood what I was trying to say. That sometimes the lessons we learn in baseball aren’t good ones. That sometimes the reward doesn’t come in the dugout or the game or the tournament. That sometimes the reward comes only to the heart. And that no matter what, he is my hero.

Family Corner Staff (674 Posts)

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Cindy Rowe
Cindy Rowe (7 Posts)

Cindy Rowe is the owner/editor of Crazylou Creations blog. On the blog, you will find a little bit of crazy, and a whole lot of fun! As a FT working mother, she still finds time to create crafts, play around in the kitchen, plan parties and exercise. You'll find all of this and more on her blog!

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