Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Another First - Tee Ball!

Nate started tee ball a couple weeks ago (starting with two weeks of "practice" - a.k.a. teaching a bunch of 4 & 5-year-olds what a baseball is and what they're supposed to do with it).

Yesterday, however, was their first official "game".  I say that in quotes only because they don't actually keep score, they play the same team for every game (alternating "home" teams) and there was very little organization or competition to be seen here.

Regardless, they had their first game and it was nothing if not entertaining.

Imagine 26 four and five-year-olds out on the field, or in a batting line-up.  The little one whose turn it is gets up to bat.  He/she swings, misses, swings, misses, swings, finally makes contact enough to knock the ball off the tee and then stands there.  Everyone starts yelling "go! go!  Run to first base!"  The little boy/girl starts running but forgets to drop the bat so they run back, drop the bat and start running again.  Only this time they have forgotten where they're going so they run down the middle of the field towards 2nd.  All the while parents, coaches, and spectators are simultaneously yelling directions, explanations, encouragements.  If not to the batter, then to the little boy or girl who won the ball in the outfield (since invariably no less than 5 children ran for it and all tried to jump on the ball at once) and is now standing there holding it, not knowing quite what to do with it until the chants to "throw it!" get through and they launch it anywhere they can (usually from the mitted hand).

It's great to watch these little ones with ants in their pants as they dance, wiggle, twirl, sway, and goof off in the outfield.  My boy is usually the one out there with the running motor...the mouth that will not stop.  He's hooting, hollering, making siren noises, making horrible screeching sounds.  All while telling silly knock knock jokes, pretending his baseball glove is eating his face, and/or touching his "pee-nus" because his underwear is itching him.

I am so thankful for this experience for Nathaniel, though...he's not always what I'd consider athletic, or even all that coordinated.  (He could be if he spent more time focusing on that instead of being a clown but he'd rather get the attention by being silly right now).  But the people are great and the exercise is good.  He's learning something, making friends, and learning good sportsmanship and teamwork.  Go, Mini Yankees!  

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