For me, the week was about a little boy. The littlest one. The one who waited his turn. The one who has cheered as his daddy coached four other All Star teams, waiting patiently until he might be picked to play for him. The one who watched his brothers play in All Star tournaments (and as both have pointed out, never got as far as that little one and his team have, which according to the oldest is just wrong because "he's the youngest, that's not how it works.")
It was about a husband, a father, and a coach who doesn't like it when I blog about him. So that's all I'll say about that.
It was about at least seven singings of the National Anthem.
And seven recitations of the Little League Pledge.
It was about 2-3 ice cold towels on a catcher's neck each day.
And countless bottles of water and Gatorade, plus a beer or two for the daddies after the games were over.
It was about fist bumps and high fives and waiting for your buddy who just jacked one over the fence to come home.
It was about some where near a million and one texts among mamas Re: WHAT DO WE DO WITH THEM FOR THE REST OF THE DAY???
It was about hundreds of Google searches for water parks, movie theaters, miniature golf courses and bowling alleys.
And two or three in the hotel lobby.
It was about ordering boxes and boxes of pizza and reserving the hotel conference room for movies to keep them inside and occupied.
And about hoping that our boys didn't lose brain cells getting Dumb and Dumber watching Paul Blart Mall Cop. :-)
It was about numerous bottles of Febreze and Gold Bond and sunscreen and bug spray.
After all of that, as I sat in my chair at the final game - the sixth game in five days of near 100 degree temperatures - my legs crossed and cramping in the same position that they had been for the entire game, I realized we were the home team in the top of the final inning carrying a pretty good lead. The kids were three outs away from winning the state championship. I felt tears burn the back of my eyes and a lump in my throat and I chided myself, "Oh, come on. You're not going to cry are you? About a baseball game? Are you? You cannot cry. There's no crying in baseball. And plus, it's not over. Pull it together."
With two outs, the baseball headed toward our 2nd baseman, in seemingly excruciating slow motion, and he fielded it and threw to first. The game was over. There was a flurry in the stands as families jumped up, hands raising, voices booming and cameras clicking.
But I just stood and pressed my forehead against the chain link fence, peeking through the diamond shaped hole at a mountain piled high of navy and red uniforms, caps and cleats, smiles and wide eyes. And for me, in a sudden rush of tears, there was, without a doubt, crying in baseball,
Grateful for my giant sunglasses, I watched them, blurry though they were through my flooded eyes, thinking, "Well, they do, don't they? They do look like a pile of puppies. I can't see whose leg is whose, whose elbow is whose. I can't tell where one begins and the other ends."
Because at the end of a hot, exhausting, glorious week, it was not really about me or the other mamas. It was not really about our plans for the hours away from the field or our organization of meals and laundry. It was not only about my husband and the other dedicated coaches who gave the players their hearts. It was not only about my own son whose red hair peeked out from the bottom of the pile.
It was not even about fielding and hitting and pitching and throwing a round ball with red stitching.
The week was about twelve little boys. Not one more important than the next. Twelve little boys linked together, tangled up in a sweaty, smiling, stinky pile of each other. It was about twelve little boys who simply had faith. Twelve little boys who believed they could do something big.
So they did.
"Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, "Move from here to there" and it will move. And nothing will be impossible for you."
- Matthew 17:20