Skip to content
April 5, 2011 / sharoncopy

Take me out to the ball game….

You never know what your child is going to say.

It was the end of the little league baseball season and the coaches were ready to hand out the trophies.

Our son David was 8, and he had just finished his first baseball season, without the benefits of T-ball that most of the other boys had. The coaches did their usual 3 sentence speeches and handed out plaques to all the kids, who walked forward, embarrassed, shook hands, and moved back to their benches with incredible speed. Safe! I could imagine the umpire spreading his arms as each landed.

Mr. Johnson was the coach of David’s team, the Braves, and he called for quiet in the room.

“We don’t usually give out any other awards, but this year we felt that one player deserved something special. He put in a lot of hard work and effort and really learned a lot this year. ”

All eyes were on him, wondering what the new award would be.

“So, David, come on up here. We made a special plaque for you as the Most Improved Player, and we hope that you will come back and play again next year with the Braves.”

Tears came to my eyes as I felt this special moment for my son, who had indeed tried his best that season. David walked to the front, and Mr. Johnson gave him the plaque and shook his hand again. “Will we see you again next year, David?” he asked with a big smile on his face.

My son, the joy of my heart, took the plaque and said, “I think I might want to play on a different team next year.” Silence. The lump in my throat dropped like cement to my stomach and seemingly down to the floor. Awkward laughter started up, and everyone moved on.

Kids don’t see things the way that adults do – it’s just not possible. I would have wanted him to be polite and recognize what a nice thing they had done for him. He just gave a simple honest answer. Though I felt embarrassed and no doubt chided him afterwards, I shouldn’t really have faulted him for not knowing the typical pleasantries of how adults deal with one another in group situations. It takes a while to learn the little dishonesties.

There’s a great movie called “My Sister’s Keeper” about a girl who is dying, and her family. At the end, when the family knows she is going to die, the extended family of relatives come to her room and offer continuous platitudes: remarks such as: “you just have to keep believing,” and “just keep telling those cancer cells to go away – visualize,” and “you just can’t give up.”  The girl just smiles and nods and agrees to whatever they say because she knows that they aren’t ready to experience the truth and there’s no point in speaking it.

Like I said, you never know what your child is going to say.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: