Just today, I saw this poem posted all over Facebook by my friends who are baseball parents:
He’s Just a Little Boy, by Chaplain Bob Fox
He stands at the plate with his heart pounding fast! The bases are loaded, the die has been cast
Mom and dad cannot help him, he stands all alone, a hit at this moment would send the team home!
The Ball nears the plate, he swings and he misses, there’s a groan from the crowd, with some boos and some hisses.
A thoughtless voice cries, “Strike out the bum.” Tears fill his eyes-the game is no longer fun.
Remember, he’s just a little boy who he stands all alone.
So open your heart and give him a break, for a moment like this a man you will make.
Keep this in mind when you hear someone forget, he’s just a little boy and not a man yet.
I think what struck a chord with me was “mom and dad cannot help him, he stands all alone.” I’ve not stopped to think how my son feels when he’s up to bat. He’s all alone; he has the pressure of his teammates, his coach (aka dad) and all the parents and fans in the stands. He knows the team is relying on him to make contact with the ball and hopefully get a run. He’s got to be nervous — so many emotions and so much pressure for such a young boy. But mom is always right behind him and of course rooting for him.
I am certainly NOT the parent in the stands yelling after bad plays and calls; I’m the one clapping when a player strikes out saying “that’s okay, good try.” When my son goes up to bat, he always looks for me and gives me a big smile and I yell “let’s go Ethan.” It’s just our thing; it’s my way of reassuring him that I’m his biggest fan and I’ll be cheering him on all the way (hit or no hit).