Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Play Ball!!

One of Ryan's birthday gifts this year was a baseball tee from my Dad. I have to say that these memories will remain etched my mind for a very, very long time. Growing up I played softball. I played from the age of 4 until the age of 18. When I say I played softball what I really should be saying is that softball was pretty much my life. I played on a traveling, tournament team starting around the age of 9. We played year round and it was a family affair.

My mom kept score and was the loudest cheerleader in the stands. She was not the annoying parent that gripes when their kid doesn't do well, but the biggest supporter there. She cheered for everyone and I could hear her loud whistles echo through the park anytime anyone did an extraordinary job!

My Dad was, for a very long time, my head coach. He never went easy on me though. He made me earn my spot just like every other girl on the team. He was a great coach. I remember watching other coaches scream and yell at their teams, but my dad never would do that. We knew when he was disappointed in how we played but he would never say that we did a bad job. My dad lead our team to the state championship when I was all of 12 years old! That is one of the most fantastic weekends I had as a kid.

My Uncle and my cousin even helped coach our team for a while. Those were the fun days! My cousin was 10 years older than the rest of us girls and we really looked up to her (I still do). She was also a great softball player too.

I always thought that my kids would one day continue the tradition and play baseball or softball. They don't have to be super competitive but I do want them to at least try it out. :)

So back to the reason for this post --- Dad got Ryan a baseball tee for his 3rd birthday. As soon as Ryan opened it up, he was ready to go outside and try it out. I grabbed the camera and darted out after them to capture the memories. These photos hold a very special place in my heart. I know that my Dad taught me how to swing a bat and he got to help Ryan learn how to swing a bat too!! This was Ryan's first time using a bat and/or tee. :)

Getting ready for the first swing! (Trying out the right side first, even though we are 99.5% certain that Ryan is a lefty).

And a hit!!!

Ryan was so proud of himself!

You could tell that Ryan was uncomfortable on the right side though. He kept trying to hold the bat with only his left hand. We switched him around and let him try out the left side.

Determined little boy, trying it out on his own!

Love everything about this.

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