The Man Inside The Boy…

B Baseball 2018 / TiffanyAOlson.com

 

A few weeks back we were at our son, Bridger’s baseball game and I received a glimpse of who he is becoming. He’s 12 and his personality is exactly like his mother’s. She turned out pretty good so I know with a ton of patience and perseverance he will prevail and become a functioning adult. For now, though, that larger than life personality, the desire to make people laugh and be the center of attention mixed in with the inability to stop talking can at times make others want to cringe. I know this because he’s my mini-me and people felt the same way about me when I was growing up. He’s also all boy. So as much as we are alike we are very different. I was never prone to wrestle at any given moment or belch and fart on command and these things, much to my dismay make him happy.

As Bridger has gotten older the boys on the other teams have become friends, it’s a small community so these kids in the offseason participate in 4H or attend summer camps together. Bridger is the kid who’s up to bat and making silly faces to his buddy who is pitching. At times he is the pitcher and he’s joking around with the runner on 1st base about how he’s going to get them out. He’s having a ball while the rest of us are wishing he’d focus a little harder on the job at hand.

A few weeks ago we played a really good team. It was not going well for us and the tension on the sidelines was pretty intense. The other team brought in a new pitcher. He’s one of those kids who is 12 but looks 18. My kid is 12 and looks 8. It was this pitcher’s 1st year playing ball. He pitched harder than any kid we have seen thus far but because of his inexperience, the accuracy was off. Don’t get me wrong, we are dealing with 11 and 12-year-olds here, so nobody is super accurate but he stood out because of his size and how fast he could throw. Our guys were a touch rattled because all of them know what it feels like to be hit with the ball and they wanted to avoid it at all costs.

Bridger came up to bat, we were down by two runs and there were two outs. The ball was coming at him faster than he’s ever seen and the plate is the place where he’s challenged the most. He keeps stepping out of the box and taking deep breaths. When he’s nervous he gets these little ticks like shaking his head, spitting excessively, snapping his fingers or opening and closing his mouth. The ticks were in full force. Then it happened, he took one right in the shin. There was no ability for toughness at this moment. He went down. Mr. Wonderful, who was coaching third base, casually (much to casually for this mama) walked up to the plate to check on the situation. I not wanting to make a scene and be totally lame by running on to the field to check on my baby, ran to the car for the 1st aid kit and some ice. I could hear him crying from the car and I was trying not to freak out. But by the time I raced back to the field, he was on his feet and trotting down to 1st base.

The next batter got up and struck out. All for nothing. He got nailed with the ball and it didn’t move the needle for us at all. As he’s limping back into the dugout it dawns on me that it’s his turn to pitch. I thought to myself, this cannot end well. He still had tear stains on his face, he couldn’t walk without limping, we are down by 2 runs and there were two innings left. He looked at the coach, (Mr. Wonderful), and said, “I’m in, I’m doing  this.” He limped out to the pitcher’s mound, struck one out, caught a pop fly, and his buddy, JR. caught a line drive to shortstop.

6th grade / TiffanyAOlson.com

We didn’t win the game. But I walked away that evening with my heart swelled with pride. My kid, my silly, funny, chatty guy turned it all off for a few moments and got the job done. He chose not to sit on the sidelines and take it easy when there was important work to be done. The outcome of the game didn’t change but God gave me a special gift that evening. It was a moment in time, a glimpse into the man my son will one day become. He has the capacity in him to keep fighting no matter how much it hurts and how far behind you are. He will stay to the end even when limping back up to the mound after every single pitch.

He’s strong, tough, silly, funny,  and chatty… he’s my son.

Baseball 10 yrs old / Tiffanyaolson.com

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Comments

  1. Sandy Mitts says:

    Bridget, you the man.

  2. He’s silly, he’s funny, makes me laugh, makes me roll my eyes, always has a smile and a hug for me, he has his moments (like we all do), and he’s got one of the biggest hearts I know.

    He’s a gift.

    One I wouldn’t trade for all the world <3!!

  3. Beautiful Tiffany! I love how you captured the moment. Your words took me to the ball game. I love it when we see those glimpses of who our children are becoming.

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