Friday, April 24, 2009

It's Little League and Soccer Season

This time of year holds many memories for me. Both of my sons were involved in Little League. I remember coming home from work and going straight to the baseball field to help out at the concession stand. I remember watching either from the bleachers or the stand my late husband out there coaching his team the Phillies. They were a brand new team and most of these players were inexperienced as far as playing the game.

My husband Bob loved to win. He was a very competitive person. He himself played tennis and was rated at a high level that enabled him to also coach and give lessons in that sport. His tennis team did go on to win a few championships for their school.

But when it came to baseball, yes he certainly loved to see his team win. Except I think that what was even more important to him was that every kid got the chance to play in the game. During the drafting period where coaches got together on the field to choose the players, my husband not only picked the best players for his team, but he picked those who would still need some work, and those who at first did appear to measure up to the rest of the players. For his team Bob picked the first girl to every play in the league. He also picked a young boy who was born with an undeveloped hand. These two were overlooked by other coaches, either that or simply ignored.

Bob felt every kid should have a chance to play in a sport if they wanted to play. The Phillies never went on to win any championship, but they did well and did win enough of their games during the six years that Bob coached that built confidence in the players that I'm sure carried through into their adulthood years later. (Most of these players are now into their late 30's, and maybe early 40's.)

This week one of my sons will be watching his daughter and his son play in soccer practices or games. I'll also go and watch when I can. My other son spends time on a baseball field watching his young son play T-Ball.

Each of them know it doesn't matter if you win or lose, what matters is you get to play in a sport that you want to play. No more. No Less.

Of course it's always a plus when the teams wins. Everyone involved in these sports is a champion and a winner.

I know Bob is looking down from Heaven on his sons and his grandchildren, and he's right there rooting for them every step of the way. Of course I do get sad wishing that he were there beside me instead on this side of life rather than in Heaven standing in that way he usually stands, with arms folded, and wearing his faded favorite jeans and his light blue knit shirt. How tickled he would be to see his grandkids involved in sport. His other granddaughter is a very good tennis player.

The little boy with the undeveloped hand inspired a story for which I am now finding a new publisher. It's a story that when it was available to the reading public before the publishers closed their doors, did receive excellent reviews and I was told this is a story that stays with the reader way after they finish the story.

I think that's what happens when we as writers write from snippets of our own lives because those snippets pretty much tell a story that most are familiar with and most have experienced.

This story titled No More Secrets, No More Lies reminds us to make memories with our kids because in turn they will then go on and make memories with their children, our grandchildren. And in the process these memories keep going through future generations.

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