Thursday, January 12, 2012

Lasting Impressions

I was just outside pitching baseballs to my son.  What fun to see his face light up when he hit the baseball.  Nothing says spring is coming like sunshine, blue sky, and a boy with a bat!
Memories of my own softball playing days came crowding in as I watched my sons enjoyment.  Most good, but not all of them.  One in particular stood out.
I never actually played t-ball, but I did go to a practice...once.  The coach lined me all up, put the helmet on my head, handed me a bat, and put the ball on the tee.  Then he stepped back and I took that as my sign to swing.  What I didn't see was a younger kid (mind you I was all of 6 at the time) behind me.  CRACK!! Yep, you guessed it.  My enthusiastic swing caught the poor child right in the head.  Even now, many, many years later I feel the remorse well up inside of me...and also the feeling of being blamed and punished for something that I never intended to happen.  The coach read me the riot act (as a parent I logically understand why, but as a child all I heard was "You horrible, awful kid look what you did!!") and sent me home.  I never darkened the t-ball field again.
So all you parents and coaches out there.  Be careful not to react in such a way as to send a child away from a sport to never return.