Last year I wrote a piece about my daughters softball experience. It was called The girl on the bench. I hope you’ll read it. For once I was complimenting her-not complaining about her. I was proud of who she was and of how she handled herself.
I am, and was, proud to be the mom of the girl on the bench.
Saturday was opening day of the 2015 softball season. All in black and looking fierce-my girl took to the field.
She was a starter.
She ran into the field and stopped in the dirt. My heart was banging in my chest. She stopped. So did my heart.
She stopped at second; An in-field position. My girl had earned a spot. Thank god it was a sunny day and I had on oversized sun glasses.
From her cocked hip and tense shoulders I knew she was both proud and nervous to be where she was.
I’ll be honest- I don’t care where she plays. I cared that she was in the dirt because she cares.
Before the season started she and I talked. I reminded her that she had to earn playing time. I reminded her that her success, or failure, this year depended on her…only her. Her coaches would only believe in her as much as she believed in herself. I reminded her that I was proud of her as long as she gave 100%. I Reminded her that anyone can lead a team and that the most important role wasn’t always the one with the highest RBI. I wished her luck and sent her on her way.
Actually there was a fight before she got out of the car–she was nervous and NOT in the mood for speeches. I was nervous and desperate to leave her in a positive dram of mind. Oil. Water. But it ruins the moment so I am leaving that part out.
And, on her own, my fighter (I mean this positively in this sentence) fought. She nailed her tryout. Her first practice too. By sheer determination and pure desire she has treated every practice like an audition. She showed up.
Her gumption paid off. Her first position was where she always dreamt of playing: in-field. She did that. She wanted something and she earned it.
My daughter is no superstar. She’s not a homerun hitter or an explosive base stealer. Saturday she sat an inning and played 2 innings in the outfield. She walked, bunted badly and got a hit. She is okay-skill wise. She’s never going to be the star. But…. she has something even better—she’s got heart. After her poor bunt she went to her coach and asked,”what can I do to be better?” A big deal because last year she was too intimidated to say much of anything to her head coach.
This is why we play softball. We play for the life lessons learned in the red dirt with that yellow ball. Earn what you want is a life lesson. My big hearted girl seems to have learned this lesson and I couldn’t be prouder.