Fireflies: June Reflections: PLAY BALL!         

Jun 4, 2012

June Reflections: PLAY BALL!

I am convinced that God has a sense of humor. 

My dad was a college hockey player, an avid baseball player, an eagle scout and an army veteran. He fathered 3 girls.  Being the "girliest" sister, I loved shoes, jewelry and shopping. You can imagine my shock and uncertainty at what to do when my husband and I were blessed with 4 boys!! But in God's perfect wisdom, my dad did a pretty awesome job of teaching my sisters and me to play hockey, pitch a tent and hit a baseball.  I, however, failed miserably at getting my sons to enjoy shopping. But, back to baseball...

It's been said that patience is a virtue. In that case, my dad was a very virtuous man. Summer evenings after supper we would head out to the back yard for some batting practice and games of catch, (always hoping a neighborhood boy would come over to give us some credibility). The clothesline pole was home plate, the old oak tree was 1st base, the bird bath 2nd base, the cracked sidewalk square 3rd. Daddy was pitcher. My shins were black and blue most of the summer from being hit by baseballs. I loved my daddy -
I did not love baseball.

My dad's glove and ball.
Years later our sons played on baseball teams and were not only avid players, but aggressive card collectors. I was amazed at the hours they could spend trading, bargaining, and working out deals in order to complete sets. While working in the garage recently I came across an old trunk. My breath caught as I gazed inside and saw my dad's old baseball mitt and the softball that we used to throw in the backyard. As I held them, memories of those warm summer evenings so long ago flooded over me. I thought of the movie "Field of Dreams" and how Kevin Costner "longs for another catch with his dad". I realized that I was smiling, crying, and wishing that I could play some baseball again. Could it be I really loved that game?! 

During the month of June we're focusing on America's greatest pasttime - baseball
Make time to play ball with your children.   Find a baseball game to attend - whether it's a little league game or a major league game!  There's just something about sitting in the stands of a ballpark with some peanuts, cheering for the home team, the 7th inning stretch, and singing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame"! 

We're featuring several outstanding books about baseball this month. We guarantee you'll laugh, but grab some tissues as you may also shed a tear or two.
Mary Byrne Kline

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