Thursday, March 27, 2008

(Softball) Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend

Dear Little Softball Field Down the Street,

I've missed you too. I've heard you calling to me in the depths of winter under that blanket of snow. Right now you're really muddy, but soon, very soon, I'll come play on you. Darling Daughter is ready. She got her very first wiffle ball and bat from the Easter Bunny. She's taken some practice swings in the back yard and she's really quite good. And you know how great she can throw, so I'm thinking she's going to be the next Jennie Finch, don't you? I've got my glove all ready and Handsome pulled out the "gear" from the closet when he was searching for DD's helmet (for her tricyle adventure) the other day. Soon, softball, soon.

Moxie Mama

There are very few things I love in life more than softball. March is always the month where my palms start itching for my glove and I start hunting down my glove and bat and softballs. Baseball/Softball is a second religion in my family. As soon as we were old enough to pick up a ball, all five of us were ready. My dad coached all of our Little League/Powder Puff teams at some point and I went on to play 2 years in college. (I quit the team when I decided on double majoring. I wasn't the next Jennie Finch and 2 demanding degrees was enough to keep me busy). I'm glad my mom taught my sisters and I how to wear high heels and my dad taught us to wear cleats. We're well rounded like that, I guess.

My lust for the field must be hereditary. Every spring I could see my dad getting more and more excited as the season approached. His father (my grandfather) is such a fanatic that back in the 1950's he really did build a Field of Dreams (but in a Kansas cornfield, not Iowa) for my dad and the neighborhood kids. Many nights of my childhood I was lulled to sleep by the sweet, sweet purr of Harry Carey/Denny Matthew's voice. To this day, when I hear Denny Matthew's voice, I am instantly sleepy.

When we were growing up, my dad always would gather us up and take us up to the local field to practice. While I kind of hated getting up that early every Sat. morning in summers, I was glad we did when I got older. That was one of the best family bonding memories I still have in a family relationship that isn't all that great anymore.

One of my stipulations before marrying Handsome was that he had to be able to not only play, but LOVE baseball as much as I do. The first time I saw him park the ball over the fence, my heart was his, forever more. I even forgive him for being a Cardinals fan despite living in Kansas City for over 11 years.

DD was born on the opening day of the 2004 Summer Olympics. The first couple of weeks of her life we did little more than eat, sleep, pee, poop, cry and watch the Olympics. Having a brand new baby, what do you say to them past "I love you" "You're the most beautiful thing in the universe" and "I can't believe you're ours"? So I talked to her about softball. We watched swimming and diving too, but it was Jennie Finch and the US Women's Softball team that had our rapt attention.

As the weather is finally warming up a bit outside, I'm looking forward to baseball/softball season. I can't wait the first day I get to play. The smell of the infield chalked out, the sound of the crack of a bat, the sting of the ball hitting my glove. Ahhh...I'm ready!