Last week, I found myself looking for an alternative to copious amounts of TV, Wii, and other “quiet time so Mommy and Daddy could work during the weeklong daycare shutdown” activities.
I stumbled upon Baseball Camp, which is run by our school district’s baseball coach. And lucky for me, they still had spots open.
I’d like to take credit for Owen’s baseball obsession – being a decent softball player myself – but unfortunately I can’t. He picked up baseball on his own; asking us from the moment we got him his first baseball glove if we’d play with him. Last summer I stopped pitching wiffle balls to him because he kept hitting me (which stings!).
So this year, we signed him up for tee ball, which was HEAVEN. Our kid, who hung back and never joined in for soccer and swim lessons, ran off willingly – happily, even! – to play baseball with complete strangers.
I figured he’d do fine at Baseball Camp. My biggest worry was that it would feed into his obsession and we’d never be able to do ANYTHING that didn’t have to do with baseball.
(Actually, no, that’s not true. My biggest worry was that he’d get stung by a bee and someone I didn’t know would have to administer his epipen.)
On Monday, we showed up at the Little League fields, paid our fee, handed over his labeled epipen, and filled out paperwork for the nurse that is onsite daily.
When the director blew his whistle, my not-so-little boy ran off to join the rest of the Big Boys for baseball camp.
Just like that, he was a Big Boy.
When I called my best friend on the way home, I couldn’t keep the tears from flowing.
I am really excited about kindergarten this year, probably more excited than Owen is.
I have vivid memories of learning how to read. The day I realized there were words to read everywhere! was the most magical day of my life.
From that moment on, I read everything I could find: the cereal box. The toothpaste tube (seriously, the directions on the Crest tube of toothpaste? “Directions: Start from the bottom and squeeze as you go up.” WTF does that even MEAN? I puzzled over that for years). Mail. Magazines. My dad’s books. I took 6 books from the school library every week during library period. During the summer, I read even more books.
Even as an adult, reading is still magic. I don’t read as much as I’d like, nor can I push off sleep to finish a book the way I want to. But reading makes me happy.
And I can’t WAIT for Owen to be literate. To go to the library every week and take out more books, to read together every night books that have more words than pictures.
I think he’ll love it, too. Because he said to me, not too long ago: Mommy, I love books. Because they can teach you things you don’t know!
I cannot wait to see him learn his letters, put words together, and see his reaction when he realizes that there’s a whole new world that’s open to him.
I didn’t expect to be so… emotional about that first dropoff at Baseball Camp.
But this summer I’ve seen him growing up – right in front of my eyes.
And one night, literally as he was falling asleep at a much-too-late bedtime, protesting, “but I’m not tired…!” I realized that all I see is Boy now. Not baby. Not toddler. Not even preschooler.
He’s my boy. Sometimes not so little, either.
Which is weird. Because seriously, wasn’t he just born yesterday? Where did 5 and a half years of my life go? How is it possible that he’s even OLD enough for baseball camp and reading and kindergarten and riding the bus?
When did that HAPPEN?
But time and tide, it seems, waits for no mother.