But they came out to play. Billy's team took an early lead. 10 runs in the first inning. 5 runs in the second. The other team couldn't put one on the board. The head coach decided to show some mercy to the other team and didn't push the boys to keep competing. Nice gesture on his part...almost a not so nice outcome.
The other team started hitting. Our team stopped. Our batters struggled, our pitchers struggled, the other team scored a couple one inning, then a few more the next, and the next. Next thing they knew their 15-0 lead had dwindled....the tying run was on first base with two outs. Bottom of the last inning. And then....their boy....struck out. Game over 15-14. It felt like the boys won a game and lost a game...but it was all the same game. A fitting ending for the tournament.
The boys have league play-offs starting this week....and one more state tournament next weekend....then it's done. Done! It feels like they just started. I'm going to miss it. Not just the games, but the moments in the games. Like this one, where Billy automatically picked up the opposing teams bat and handed it to them, just to save them the trouble, just because. Is there a better feeling than noticing one of your kids doing something nice when they don't think anyone is watching? Just because.
I'll miss watching the camaraderie that's formed on this team...they all get along pretty darned well. I'll miss their laughs, their emotions, the pats on the back, the crack of the bat, the sound of cheers from the bench....and the snap of the ball hitting the mitt. But the one thing I will miss the very, very most...because I know that it is only a part of this particular season...is the sound of this very serious catcher's voice as he yells...
..."BALLS IN, COMING DOWN!!" and his husky low teenage boy voice cracks into soprano right in the middle of the call. Oh dear, it slayes me, every time. When they are out there playing and trying their hardest in the dust and heat of the day sometimes it's hard to remember that they are still just boys. The boys of summer, winning or losing I'm cherishing the moments. The seasons of this life are simply too short.