Baseball

The summer times of my childhood were filled with foot long Dodger dogs, chocolate malts, tossed bags of peanuts, nachos, Vince Scully, and the organist playing Take Me Out to the Ball Game during the 7th inning stretch. As kids we had no idea that the play time extended past the “closing song”, as my parents shuffled us out to our minivan in an attempt to get all four of us into bed at a semi reasonable hour. Living on the east coast, I miss those Dodger games on the hot sticky nights. There is very little that makes me feel homesick, but the electric feel of the fans and gearing up in our Dodger blue, is one of those things.

Today was a hard mama day. We all have them, sometimes more than we would like to. I’d like to blame it on our basement flooding and having our school room and basement ripped out as a result, or the air conditioner that has broken down twice in 4 days. But in reality, there is no excuse for my off mom days.

“The great thing, if one can, is to stop regarding all the unpleasant things as interruptions of one’s ‘own’ or ‘real’ life. The truth is of course that what one calls the interruptions are precisely one’s real life – the life God is sending one day by day;”         – C.S. Lewis

I’ve been reminiscing about those games, and about my love for some of the Dodger greats over the last 30 years, and it occurred to me that baseball is sometimes like motherhood.

Professional ball players don’t hit a grand slam every time they step up to the plate. In fact, more often than not, they strike out. The inevitable failure to connect bat with ball does not prevent them from striding toward home plate. Nor does it prevent them from swinging with all of their might – hoping, and trying – for that elusive grand slam.

Motherhood is like that.

Each day we wake up to play the game. We know the things we need to do and we know who our teammates are. What we don’t always know is the type of pitch that will be lobbed at us, we don’t know how many outs we will be faced with before our next turn at bat, and if we will be successful in hitting the ball out of the park. All we can do, is go down swinging. Keep putting one foot in front of the other. Keep rallying our team and remember that most days we will have small failures, but they won’t usually cost us the game. What matters is that we wake up to play the game the next day. And the next. Undeterred.

Failure is a part of life. I wish I could accomplish everything on my to do list, every single day. The more I try, the more I realize that I will never succeed. Instead, I need to continually refocus and prioritize the items that matter most. And what matters most are people.

So, tomorrow, I won’t let the inevitable curve ball through off my motherhood game.  Hell!  Even if I get beaned with a ball, our team is winning tomorrow.

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