Travelin’

winter windGloves – check; hand warmers – check; swim suit – check; sun screen – check; rain coat and umbrella – check; baseball “mom” t-shirt – check; team spirit wear – check; sweatshirt – check; sweats for under wind pants – check; Gatorade – check; travel snacks (something sweet, something salty) – check; stadium seats – check; cooler – check. Is the hotel one we get points at? It must be baseball season. We travel and we prepare for whatever season decides to show up. We could have a little bit of spring and a little bit of winter. Images of the parent/fans in the bleachers could easily be mistaken for football season with scarves, gloves and blankets.spring image 2 Late in the season the image is more like survivors in the desert. It must be baseball season.

The parents spend the first few games trying to remember each other’s name, memorizing the names and numbers of the players they don’t know and always encouraging all the players on and off the field. Sometimes it’s the encouraging words of another player’s parent the really helps lift spirits.

The coach does his best to get the team ready for the season inaugural tournament. He reminds everyone that none of the teams will have had a lot of field time practice. “Let’s have fun and learn something. We can have more fun if we get some hits. So, go be aggressive at the plate.”

While outsiders think we are crazy, those of us on the inside know that baseball season with our middle schooler’s travel team is all about the memories being made. There will be button-busting victories and there will be dirt-kicking defeats. One will be celebrated with food and fun at the hotel indoor pool and the other will be quickly forgotten with food and fun at the hotel indoor pool.

Traveling home is usually quiet. Everyone is tired in the best way. At home laundry is separated. The white baseball baseball equipmentpants are the key player in a laundry chemistry project including pre-treatment spray and Fels Naptha. After a 30 minute soak, the uniform is the first to get washed. The result will be somewhere between “like-new clean” and “ready to hit the field.”

 Yes, in a few days we will be back on the field ready to take on the next team and the new challenge. Batter up!

All the best,
KK

Sugar cookies and memories

Yesterday I made sugar cookies to take to school at lunch time for Cole’s birthday.  Evidently it is still cool for mom to show up with cookies at middle school lunch as long as she doesn’t hang out too long.  The cookies were homemade slice and bake, but I wanted to ice them to look like baseballs.

One thing to understand, I am not an artist and if I can’t just shoot a fun shape out of a cookie press and add sprinkles, I’m stretching my talents.  Standing in the kitchen icing these cookies, I began to think about my son and how he is growing into a young man.  I felt thankfulness for the grace and encouragement God had delivered over and over to us throughout the years.  I thought about the day he was born and the first moment he looked at me as if to say, “so that is what you look like, I only knew your voice for these nine months.”

Then it came time to add the red icing to make the laces on the “balls”.  It wasn’t great.  Some were ok, and then I remembered my recipients, middle schoolers.  The cookie that looked like home plate was good and I eeked out five or six good baseballs, the rest got sprinkles.  I was running out of time and needed to get them over to school.

At one point I thought maybe I should scrap the idea and go buy the pretty ones from the bakery.  But then I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to reflect and embrace the blessing of a birthday many years ago and yesterday.

I have no idea how Cole will remember his 2012 birthday.  Maybe we will laugh about my attempt at cookie decorating; but I can almost promise you that he will know that every swipe of the icing spreader, and every squirt of the icing decorator was done with love.  Yes, I could have easily swiped my debit card and bought pretty cookies, but it wouldn’t have been the same experience for either of us.

Think about it,

KK