Thursday, August 16, 2007

Baseball Season In The Hood

This blog was inspired by The Bizarre JC Martin ----) Click here for her blog "Summertime Fun"

Life Lessons Realized

Baseball season meant the WORLD to me! My dad would bring out the old cleats; dusting and polishing them off like we did the mantle full of trophies he'd won playing the sport. Lacing them up carefully to make sure they still 'fit'. I don't remember exactly what he would say, but it was always funny. Although his serious, quiet statuesque demeanor would make you believe otherwise, he was really a gentle giant; until crossed.

After the cleats were finished, he'd send me or my brother to get his bat. I use to loathe searching for that bat. The search itself was fine but carrying it to him was my issue. I'd always complain about how 'ghetto' he was because he had drilled a hole into the handle of the bat, filled it with water and corked it. My thoughts were, 'we are always nigga-riggin' sh**'. None the less, when I found the bat, he'd begin his annual ritual of cleansing it too.

The cleats, the bat, and we are half way there. This is when I would start to get excited. The only thing left was to launder his uniform. Yes, the uniform that made my dad look like a 'real' athlete! I loved the way my father's smile warmed my heart while in his uniform. This seemed like the only time he smiled so wide and so full of excitement. I had grown to love seeing him that gleeful. My mom would reset some of the buttons, around his ever-growing belly, and make sure he had his calf-high socks to hide the fact that he had actually gained a few inches in height as well. Whomever said people shrink as they get older was a liar, or it could have been the socks had shrunk.....

Mommy would make sure we had a cooler for the adults and a cooler for the kids. No sense in buying pop and chips from the vendor at Thurgood Marshall when we could just bring our own, right? Right....

I watched my father run around the bases until one year he utilized a sub. My daddy would hit the ball and the sub, a guy quite a few years younger, would run the bases because his knees had gotten bad. It bothered me so much not to see MY daddy running those bases. Those runs gave me all the reason in the world to give my daddy another hug, another kiss. Those runs are what had my mother, who was a home maker, scrubbing his uniforms after each game. Without those runs, what was the point?

It wasn't until years later that I understood the point...

It wasn't about cleats. It wasn't about water-filled bats, uniforms, and coolers. It was about fellowshipping; camaraderie and mixing it with good ole fun. It was about making lasting friendships and enjoying family time. My childhood experiences there prepared me to understand that things change and we need to change with them. To understand that though the method changes, you can still attain desirable outcomes. The basic things we need when life deals us bad hands. The things people don't seem to have time for or can understand these days.

From the age of six until 16, I spent the majority of my time on baseball diamonds, in most of the cities in Ohio. In what I thought was following my dad, the baseball star, was really teaching me things that I wouldn't understand until now.

Last week, my husband announced that he would be joining a baseball team this season and I almost cried...

The baseball field wasn't the only place I learned lessons......more to come

Stay peace



bginley said...

Hey kid - you are awesome for the blogrollin mention ! love from bg

Poetic Genesis said...

Thanks and no prob! Your art looks great on my wall and I wanted to share your gift.

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