American Past Time

Moving back to Lincoln meant many changes for our family, but one of the biggest (and in all reality, it is not big) involved baseball.  Our summers have always been filled with baseball, and living in a small town, we were afforded the ability to let all of the kids play--five of them anyway.  The season was just the summer from the end of May through the first of July.  Eight to eighteen-ish games depending on age.  At some points, Jakob and Joshua played together, Joshua and Jonathan played together, Benjamin and Mathilda played together.  One year all five played on five different teams.  It was still manageable.  And to satisfy curiosity, Joseph didn't play because by the time you're five and you've played baseball with your siblings for 3-4 years, tee ball just isn't really that fun--to play OR watch.  

This year, baseball was different.  Bigger town means lots more options.  The boys especially were spoiled in that they played small town ball but it was pretty competitive.  The level of competitiveness that they desired to play in Lincoln also came with a much busier schedule.  

Jakob, being in high school, tried out in the spring for the Pius baseball team and was offered a spot.  That was in February or early March and when the spring season was over, he had to try out for the summer team that took us through the end of July.  

Joshua was given the opportunity to take advantage of a late tryout for a select team that already was formed, (tryouts usually happen in the summer) and given a "discount" since the season had already started.  I only feel it important to mention that because if you would have asked us a year ago or even six months prior if we would participate in these type of clubs we would have offered a definite "no".  Too much money, too busy, too much commitment for our family, yet here we were, signing papers and writing checks, and stepping into new territory.  We learned a long time ago to never say never, but we typically still offer a pretty solid "I don't think so" and then life unfolds and we roll with it.

Jonathan only wanted to play if Tim coached his team as he has for the last several years, so indeed, that worked out and Jon and Tim were part of an organization that was most similar to what we had been used to as far as schedule.  Benjamin was offered the assistant coach position because his age range only offered coach pitch which he wanted nothing to do with since he had already played coach pitch for three years and was so eager to play "real" baseball.  He opted to wait it out one more year.   Mathilda didn't play softball because we didn't feel like we could manage an additional schedule, especially because while she enjoys playing, she has other interests that she could pursue.  And Joe?  We just kept quiet and didn't even offer tee ball.  His friends were playing on a team, so the opportunity was there, but here is how I felt about it:  "I'm so excited to go watch my 6 year old play tee ball!", said no mom ever.  Harsh but true.  The four youngest had plenty of fun playing with friends at their brothers' games all summer.

So, summer again was full of baseball, just at a different level.  I love sports.  I love being a "sports mom".  The busyness of our schedule kind of kicked my multi-tasking rear end and our kids quickly learned how to be self-sufficient in putting together some sort of meal for themselves.  I seriously reached a point where even making peanut butter and jelly for everyone was a daunting task.  By the end of the summer, my kids ratted me out for eating Amigos three times day!!  It's true--I did--several days in a row in fact.  I'm not proud of it, but everyone experiences a slump right?  Next summer will be better.  :)  It was also a learning time.  We quickly transitioned into the idea that both of us couldn't always go to every single game.  It didn't take long for splitting up to become a new normal, although I think we were able to go to the majority of the games together.  

The schedule was not the only thing that was different for us…Jakob played catcher, which up until now, he likely only squatted behind the plate to warm up a pitcher.  It was fun to watch him improve from spring into summer.  I'm sure that I could fill a page with words, but I will let pictures tell the story instead.

On occasion he got to play third base or outfield.  At one point in the season, Pius played Waverly, which meant that Jakob got to play against his former teammates.  It was fun for all of them I think!  

Joshua got to be sort of a utility player, but mostly played short stop and pitcher.  He really enjoyed playing and established a fun relationship with a new bunch of boys, and fun for us to meet and now recognize new people too.  Josh and Tim went to Kansas City for half a week for a tournament which offered them a really fun time together.  The schedule was definitely a little overwhelming, but I think we transitioned into it nicely due to multiple rainouts.  

Jonathan also proved to be a versatile player, able to play multiple positions well.  He is pretty competitive and packs a lot of punch in that little body!  He has definitely been positively influenced by his brothers in terms of leadership on the field.

Baseball was still the majority of our summer and I don't think that is going to change anytime soon, and I really wouldn't want it to.