So here I am, at 2:00 in the afternoon, standing in the middle of a field, basking under the summer sun… watching a baseball game.
It was a hot day. Scorching hot. The ground was dry. So very dry. Whenever the wind blows, dust was sure to go with it.
I could feel the dust on my face, covering the layers of sunblock that I put several hours before.
I looked at my feet. My black sandals have already turned brown. I could feel my feet burning. Why-oh-why didn’t I wear rubber shoes instead??
“Why am I here??” I asked myself for the umpteenth time.
I have been on the field since 8 o’clock this morning. This is already the fourth baseball game that I have watched and cheered for today.
The team is losing. It’s losing pretty badly.
Three teams. Four games. Three losses so far. It has been a tough, not to mention, extremely hot day. And my teams are losing.
My son isn’t even playing with any of the teams. So, why am I even here???
Truth be told, I miss watching my son play baseball.
Baseball has been his sport since he was 8 years old. He used to play golf before that, but the moment my husband introduced him to the sport of baseball — the moment he realized that he would gain more friends there, he kissed his (expensive) golf clubs, as well as his Jungolf championship dreams, goodbye. There was no turning back.
And so for about 7 years, our weekends were filled with baseball games. He has joined local tournaments, he has played in Asia Pacific Championships here and abroad, he has played with and against some of the very best youth baseball players from all over the region.
I have watched and cheered under the scorching heat, as well as in the pouring rain. I have experienced with him and his teammates the joys of victory, as well as the pain and disappointment that come with losing. I have gained new friends… I have made a number of enemies, too.
Baseball is filled with moments, both good and bad.
When my son decided to “semi-retire” from the sport… When he decided to pursue other interests (like singing, performing and yes, studying some more)… well, baseball pretty much took a back seat.
I was in a way thankful that he decided to pursue other things. I mean, I do loathe staying under the sun for a long time. And waking up at such ungodly hours to watch early morning games can sometimes drive one nuts — especially on a Sunday when you’d rather sleep in until noon.
But honestly, I do miss watching him play. I miss the thrill. I miss the excitement. Though some games can be very stressful, well, I sometimes miss the stress, too! (Sometimes I cheer like a maniac that my husband gives me dagger looks.)
Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine myself being so involved in a sport. For some reason, baseball got to me.
The universe has a sense of humor.
Last Saturday, three teams from our baseball club competed in a tournament. Three sets of players from three different divisions. The boys whom I watched training all summer long were given the chance to play against other teams.
Nope, they didn’t win all the games. In fact, they lost quite a number of times. Not one of the three teams brought home a medal nor a trophy. The old me would have been disheartened and heartbroken. No one likes losing.
But after being a witness to all those games that my son has played… I have come to realize and accept that the players learn from both winning and losing.
Losing isn’t always bad. Sometimes you have to lose so you’ll know what needs to be worked on. Sometimes you lose not because you are not good, but maybe because the other team prepared as hard as you did — or even harder.
But when you lose, lose with grace. Unfortunately, this is something that a lot of people, especially the adults, forget.
Besides, baseball is a game of moments. Each player somewhere, somehow gets to experience a moment… a moment that is his to learn from, his to remember and to savor. His moment on the field.
A winning catch. A double play. A home run. A successful slide. An almost impossible tag. One defining moment.
These moments make the long hours under the sun worthwhile.
I was but a mere spectator that Saturday, yet I am glad I stayed and watched. Dust powdered face and all. 🙂
photo credits: summer heat photos via google images ; Pitcher-Catcher moment photo from my ever reliable SLR (Taken in 2014 at the PONY Asia Pacific Tournament, Pony Division)