Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Summer Rec

I know we are in the throes of the school year already, but I feel like there's SO much of the summer I had wanted to capture here for posterity and yet I haven't.

So, please excuse me while I go back in time a couple months to share with you this snapshot in time.  :)

As I've shared before, Nate started Tee Ball when he was 5 (summer before he started Kindergarten).  He played again last summer (before 1st grade) and finally this year moved up to what is called (in these parts) "Coach Pitch" baseball.  It was quite the adjustment for him.  First of all, the people on his team take baseball very seriously.  And some of these kids have been living and breathing baseball since they were born.  So to say that Nate was a little behind the curve is a bit of an understatement.  But what he lacked in skill he definitely made up for in heart and passion.  What really hurt his game was that any practice he was getting at home was limited and, well, let's just say that Mommy pitching (at 4'10" tall) or Daddy pitching underhand is NOT the same as the 6' coach pitching overhand.  So there was some learning to do there.

Good news is, he got a LOT of individual practice with one of his two coaches or other parent helpers. The other thing I really liked was the variety of positions he got to experience.  They had him on 1st, outfield, and he even got to be catcher a few times.  It really was good for him to get a feel for the different positions and the tasks each position is responsible for.  I really think he'll continue to grow.

This year Alex got to join the Summer Rec ranks and play Tee Ball like his big brother.  I also signed him up for soccer because I knew he'd be good at it and I'm glad I did.  I really think he preferred soccer (it moved more than tee ball does).  But we'll give him another year in both to figure it out.  It was an adjustment for Nate who's never had to go and sit and watch at a game for his brother (we had a few words about that the first few practices because Alex did it for Nate's tee ball for two years, it was Nate's turn to learn the spectator role).  It all worked out in the end thanks to a nearby playground and friends of his at practices who he could go off and play with on empty fields.

We had a rough go of it for tee ball and soccer this year.  For the first 3 weeks or so, we kept getting rained out or cancelled for soggy fields.  But once the season finally kicked off (i.e. the weather cooperated), we had fun.

I really liked the way they coordinated the tee ball teams this year.  Instead of playing a long boring game that 4 & 5 year olds couldn't focus more than 5 minutes on, they rotated smaller groups of the kids through "stations" that worked on them with batting, fielding, and catching.  Then for the last part of practice they'd play a "game".  I really think it worked great and taught Alex a LOT more in one year than Nate learned on his teams for two years.  I hope we have these coaches again next year!!

 So, until next year....

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

A Letter to Alexander…as you start Kindergarten.

My dear, sweet Boo Boo (Alex),

I can't believe it, but today you woke up a Kindergartner.  How did that happen so quickly?!?  After all, you're still my BABY!  You'll always be my baby, even if you are stepping on the bus tomorrow to attend your first full day of school.  

As you take this big step into the world, I hope you know that I love you more than anything!  I have so much I want for you.  So many things I worry about for you.  

My sweet boy, I want you to dream big and for all of your dreams to come true.  I want you to remain innocent forever - to never lose your individual spunk and witty sense of humor.  I want you to keep your wide-eyed sense of wonder, learn everything you can, and ALWAYS use your head and make smart choices.  Be yourself -  for you are a wonderful, special, and fabulous little boy, just as you are.  Stay safe.  Always choose things that make you happy.  Be a good friend.  Stick up for the "little guy".  Give more than you take.  Be kind.  Never ever lose that smile!  Think before you speak.  Hold open the door for someone behind you.  Listen more than you talk.  Ask questions.  Pay it forward as often as you can.  

As you travel down this educational route for the next 12 years (or more!), I will be here, always.  I've got your back.  You can talk to me about anything.  Nothing is too small, too silly, too weird, or too uncomfortable.  I am your Mama.  I will always be here, no matter what.  Never forget that.

Now, take your cute butt out into the world and show everyone what a wonderful force you are.  Keep your attitude in check but use your wit wisely.  Keep your anger under control and always remember to breathe.  Stick with your brother and remember how much we love you!!

Big, big, big, big, big, big HUGS!