From where I sit in the stands, tiny eight-year-old boys look like ants scattered about the grassy baseball field. These kids are focused and intense. I’m the step-grandparent, and this is all new to me.
Just a minute ago, Riley was whining quietly in the car about something or other, inconsolable, and now he’s practicing his swing like he’s been in the pros for years. His eyes dart around the field memorizing who is doing what where.
While moms dole out juice, water, and snacks and move the umbrellas to keep the scorching late summer sun off their spectator families, dads are standing in groups, mostly watching, silently hoping their sons do the right thing.
After a week of TV news showing pandemic death and destruction, dwindling earth resources, and dejected employees acting out, as well as political and social upheaval, all you’ve got to do is come out to a Little League game on this Sunday. It’s heartwarming to see youngsters try so hard. These future adults can be exhilarated one minute and flat out dejected the next, hanging their heads and skulking off the field if they fail to get on base when it’s their turn at bat.
Then in a flash there’s mine. In the new inning he’s wearing catcher’s gear, looking serious, professional, older; no sign of any whining. He’s calling the shots. His dad is on the sidelines…wait, what…he’s texting? Yes, he’s keeping mom and brother who are at another game across town apprised of Riley’s performance.
This all reassures me. On this day a different kind of news is being made. We won’t see it reported with the evening TV broadcasts, but we’ll soak it up, like the brilliant sun, in our hearts. It makes me feel a tad more hopeful for our future…regardless of who wins.