Lessons from Tee Ball

Tuesday April 19, 2011

Yes, it’s that season again. Time to pull out the bats and gloves, don the caps and sunscreen, and hit the ballfield.

Time for the “boys of summer.” That’s what we always called them when they donned those uniforms and we set out for an entire day at the ballfield. With four boys, there were a couple of summers that we spanned every division from tee ball to real baseball, complete with one practice a week for each boy and four games on Saturday.

I charted the games on the calendar, we packed up our lunch and a blanket, and we took off for the field, resigning ourselves to getting nothing more than that done on that day.

It was crazy, it was busy, it was fun. And it taught them lots of good lessons.

  • Sometimes you have to sit on the bench.
  • Sometimes you have to sit in the bleachers and wait for your brother.
  • You must wear sunscreen – especially on the tips of your ears and the back of your neck, two places those baseball caps just don’t cover.
  • Sometimes you have to entertain yourself while you wait.
  • It’s good to encourage a brother, especially when he strikes out.

Mom and Dad learned lots of lessons, too. In a way, baseball was easy. At least they were all in the same league, games in the same location, we could pass down equipment…

Then they started to individualize. One wanted to join the swimming team. Another decided that middle school football was for him.

My first reaction was, “Oh, no – we’re just doing baseball. We’re all doing baseball.” Then I remembered how different they all are, as inconvenient as it may be. I knew we had to foster those unique talents, abilities, and interests in our boys so they’d have a chance to really know themselves.

So we took a deep breath, got a different colored marker for each boy, and loaded up the calendar. They experimented. The swim team didn’t last long, but it was a great lesson in perseverance. And so many more lessons came from their choices. (We did limit it to one sport a season, though – after all, there’s more to life than sports, said Mom.)

And in retrospect, there were a lot of good lessons there. This trip down Memory Lane reminded me of a few:

  • Sometimes you have to sit on the bench.
  • Sometimes you have to wait for someone else.
  • It’s good to encourage a brother (or sister), especially after a strikeout.
  • Explore your talents, abilities, interests; get to know yourself.
  • We’re all created uniquely – His workmanship.

(That one about sunscreen is pretty important, too.)

What lessons have your kids taught you lately?

Linking up with Jen at Finding Heaven Today for Soli deo Gloria. Click on over and come along with us!


Jean Wise said...

Great analogy full of lessons for all of us.

Michelle said...

Visiting from Soli Deo Sisterhood. These are great lessons. I think sports are important for kids. They do teach ALL of us great lessons. Thanks for sharing this today.

Unknown said...

:) the most important lesson i have learned from my boys' sports is the individuality one. the younger is not as good at baseball as the older and i have to okay with that. for my husband, he's learning that it's okay if the boys play sports other than what he played. and the kids have learned th esame lessons yours have. waiting being the big one!

Anonymous said...

As a mother of two boys...I had to teach this early. They are both so different, and I enjoy that.

They have learned to compromise and help each other along this journey.

Mom has become sort of an spectator :)

Mrs. M.

Stephanie M. Page said...

Maybe I am emotional today but this post made me have tears! What lessons life teaches us!

Unknown said...

There is this quiet, steady peace in this post today. I think it is in the lessons learned -- in the giving up of self in order to let someone else go before you, in the encouraging, in the waiting. Loved this.

~Brenda said...

My son has played baseball since he was a little tyke (he's now nearly fifteen and six feet tall!). But I love to write about the life lessons that the game of baseball teaches us. He has learned SO many lessons: patience, perseverance, staying tough, good sportsmanship ... I could go on and on.

LOVE baseball! :)

Faith said...

the lesson I am learning today, as my teen girl struggle with the recovery process of her wisdome teeth removal (she became sick with the pain killer so....we're aren't taking it...and we are praying the less strong one will work and be tolerated by her sensitive stomach!). anyways...the lesson I'm learning today?? to PRESS IN to PRAYER....so easy to pray for others and I sometimes forget to pray for my own....she is teaching me about perseverance thru pain....and we're reminded each other that Jesus suffered so much more than we ever will.....
great post, Laura

Cooking Up Faith said...

I think too, in trying different sports out, they find out what they like, and what they don't like. It's good to know what you're not good at, and be okay with that, as well as knowing what you are good at. What gifts God has put in you...

Melinda said...

Hmmmm... I have a baseball boy in my family who is also a pitcher. He's had some great games and some not-so-great games. It's given me and his dad a chance to assure him that his worth is not based on his performance and that one bad outing doesn't mean the next one will be. He has to approach each new opportunity with the belief that he can do it.


Hats off to you sports moms. (I only had girls that did not play sports.)


Amy Sullivan said...

Love this analogy. Ok, lately my kids have taught me I should forgive my friends when they hurt me and do it quickly. They also taught me that fake lawn ornaments are acutally kind of funny. . .sort-of.

Connie said...

Love those lessons! Wise mama you are to limit the activities for everyone's peace and well-being:)

Amber said...

Great lessons!
Especially the one about sunscreen. I see your picture on the side bar. A natural red-head it looks like. Me too! And my boys also have the fair skin.

Thanks for the kind comment on my blog.

Tiffini said...

so well written! In the day of kids doing after school sports and families going non stop AFTER work. I honestly could not have done it if all my kids were doing sports at the same time. Two is enough for this girl. The older three played but it wasn't like it is today. One sport at a time..lol! and all the lessons..how they are applicable to us all yes? I LOVE boys btw:)Grace just quit competitive gymnastics after three years of 25plus hours a week. I was VERY sad because of all the hard work she put in but also RELIEVED..I sure have a little more time:)

Shonya said...

I really love this post! May I quote part of it and link back to your blog on the post I have scheduled for tomorrow about my middle son starting tee ball this year??

Laura@OutnumberedMom said...

Sure, Shonya -- I'd be honored.

Pamela said...

My oldest grandson is signed up for T-ball this summer. From my daughter, (a senior VB player) I learned the importance of encouragement. I have watched her encouaging after bad plays and missed balls. Warms this momma's heart!

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