Next Stop, MLB

My son’s baseball team won the Little League Championship in our small town. It marked the end to a very busy June packed with endless sitting in a blue chair watching the grass grow, along with Jake’s confidence.

On game day for the championship and the ability to close out the season undefeated, Jake informed me, “Mom, this is the biggest day of my life. If we win, next stop is the MLB.”

My son is many things. Modest is not one of them. I’m working on that. In the meantime, I hope these life lessons on the field – the joys of winning and losing, teamwork, friendships, and hard work – evolve into resilience in the future.

The next day, my dad celebrated his heavenly birthday. Given the intermittent thunder and lightning storm that was just bad enough to make my sister and I wet and the unlikely pop fly catch my son managed to score at second base, I’m confident dad was around playing games with us.

In other life updates, balancing work, family, and personal growth lately has been a bit of a struggle. I’m stuck in that in-between where I have some new goals I’m taking baby steps towards, while work is insane and motherhood is well, everything to me.  Around graduation time, social media was bombarded with various versions of quotes that alluded to the fact that “by the time your child is 18, they will have spent 93% of in-person time they will ever spend with you”.

Geesh. No pressure there in an already pressure baked society. I get it. Maximize these moments. Be present. Savor the grass growing Little League moments because in 10-years, I’ll be wishing for them. The sentiment matters. But, equally as important was a more subtle message that I stumbled across listening to a 2-year old interview with Tim Ferriss and Brene Brown. In it, she talked about kid first, parent first or family first families and how they are the latter. Yep. That’s actually a thing. Life is not black and white. There is space to be a good mom and… to make space for you, even if it means missing a moment. Take today for example – I’m currently struggling with a minor medical issue so I opted to cut a day off the cabin to hopefully work on that and catch up around the house so that when I go do our 4-day cabin weekend, I’m fully present. That I can take in the Twins Game, whiffleball, tubing and fireworks like nobody’s business. Fully refreshed and even caught up on the episodes of Real Housewives of Orange County that I missed while cheering my son on from the sidelines. I didn’t even flinch when he video called me this am asking if I’d come early – which is funny since the only time he wants to see me is when I’m not around. When I’m around he wants nothing to do with me. After 10-years of this, I’m finally catching on to his game.

Next week we celebrate our country’s Independence and the sacrifices those made for us to get here. I encourage you to pause and celebrate your own Independence as well. To take stock of what you have and where you are going and remember who’s in charge, despite what others are saying. And then, dare to celebrate it! To approach the second half of the year as an opportunity to take baby steps filled with progress and setbacks and life lessons with an ultimate goal to just learn, grow and evolve. After all, do we really need more?

I recently read a book about being a beginner by Tom Vanderbilt. There were several noteworthy things in it but the thing I loved most was the idea that most of us don’t want to necessarily be known for what we’re good at. That we’d rather be known for what we’re pursuing, who we long to be. That somehow, when we’re beginners, there is a willingness to be vulnerable and expose our failures because we’re learning. It explains a lot about my desire to continuously try new things, even if I regularly fail. I used to think it was a fear of regret but if you flip that lens, I think it is also just about a pursuit of pursuing the things that make me happy – to push my boundaries knowing I can get in over my head with few consequences because I’m a newbie. And that, is a fun place to be.


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