The golden boys (and girls) of summer

It's been a June of many nights at the ballpark, surrounded by the stocatto of the player's shouts, the crack of the bat, the smell of the fresh-cut grass. Katy is on an all-girls softball team - switching from baseball to softball now at age 9 - and she has had an incredible experience. Her easy-going manner has made her friends with every single girl on the team. I feel my mothering fears of her not fitting in dissipating quickly as I watch her in the dugout with her team, smiling and laughing.

She's still permanently in the "clean up" position in the batting order. She regularly crushes doubles and triples far out into the outfield above the fielder's heads. She is happy that her "slugger" status remains intact with the larger ball and "distracting" windmill pitch delivery.

Legging out a single into a double is something my big girl - once too scared and shy to run bases, she actually walked for an entire season - can be proud of. She's been lucky to be on a team with similarly abled girls, and they've had a great season. Her favorite part about her team? She wasn't the tallest at the beginning of the season (there are 10 and 11 year olds on her team as well). She noticed, though, that she passed up her female coach and caught up with the two other tall girls in the span of 8 weeks.

They are currently battling it out in the tournament. They have advanced past the first round with a 7-0 win - their first shut-out - and will be playing again tonight.

Amy is an athlete, there's no doubt. What plagues her is my competitive streak, apparently passed down to her in spades. She rarely recalls any of her good plays, and focuses instead on her mistakes. It's always hard when one of your kids demonstrates a character or personality trait that you've disliked - but been unable to change - in your own life. I'm not sure how I'll help her enjoy the game more - she is so intense!

Maybe it comes from running behind on many other skills - fine and gross motor and functional cognitive level. T-ball is where she is a rising star, the backbone of the team. Maybe because it's in her control and she is starved for recognition of excellence - maybe that's why she tries so hard.

Caleb is still showing very little interest in sports. He's good at t-ball - when he focuses his limited attention span on it! He is too much of a daydreamer to enjoy the game. We're on the fence (no pun intended!) about having him play next season. Our schedules are already so packed, why fight it?!!

Yes, that's him sitting in the grass looking the wrong direction!

My, how they grow! T-ball season is over, softball will be by next week. After that, Rosy is off to gymnastics for 6 weeks, Amy has soccer camp, and Katy has basketball camp. In our spare time - wait, what spare time?? Three kids in sports really cuts into your weekday evenings!

It's been a good distraction to watch them enjoying a sport I still enjoy playing. And these days, I'm grateful for any distraction.