Let’s be real…on a list of the most important things right now during this pandemic, youth sports isn’t considered one of the top items. To a lot of people, that statement is true, but to some of us, it’s everything. And I’m talking about our kids.
I think they know as well as we do that there are serious things like jobs, food shortages, school closings, and even death, but in their lives their sports is everything. And in ours, there is mourning too.
I was looking back at some old photos of my boys from their Pony baseball days and it took me right back to that feeling I used to get watching them play. I had almost forgotten it. That feeling of nervousness and excitement seeing them do something positive in the game and the pride they had. I want to feel it again.
On the bright side, I feel very fortunate that this is not the end of our ride with baseball. I feel terrible for the high school seniors who missed their last shot at playing the game they love. And then there are the high school juniors whose year was very important for scouting if they were legit talent. My youngest son is a sophomore so he’ll get two more opportunities on the field, and then maybe college if it’s meant to be. My older son is in college and decided last year that he was finished with baseball, so this is our last chance to wrap ourselves in the sport we so love. There is loss at every level for us baseball families.
I feel for the kids who were in their last year of Little League. They didn’t get to have championships and all-stars. They’ll never see some of the kids they played with again. And the kids who have been waiting for years to go to Cooperstown have had one of their biggest dreams dashed by this horrible nightmare.
Most of us spend our whole summers going to tournaments, not because we have to, but because we love to. Those tournaments become our vacations, and while our kids are on the field we have great family friendships we’ve built and we miss those too.
I hate seeing all of the fields around town becoming overgrown and unused. On the other hand, I sure am glad that we hadn’t bought any expensive equipment yet that would have sat in the garage all season. Not having spring baseball did save me some money on school sports fees, but I’d rather have paid it and had the baseball.
In the scheme of things, I know this is small. I’m not mad that we shut things down, it’s just been so sad and depressing living like this, but I truly feel I have so much to be thankful for. I’m healthy and so is my whole family. I just miss our baseball life I even miss getting up early to take my son to school so I can be there for his afternoon games. He would have been the starting second baseman this year (at least I think he would have). He has grown some too so I think he would be crushing the ball right now. I guess we will never know what could have been.
We’ve only lost a couple of months of our lives so far and it seems like so much longer, but we’ve lost a full year of our kids’ sports. That is a big, sad, loss for us and I think it’s fair that we grieve for it because we will never get it back.