Saturday, May 3, 2008

My son, the shepherding t-ball star

Tonight we were at my parent's house when a little lamb was born. The first one of the 2008 lambing season! The kids were so very excited, they ran out with their Papa and Nana to go see it. They were in the barn enjoying the newness of the little woolly one when it started to rain fairly heavily.

Isaac has some extreme sensitivities to both his head being touched and his head being wet. So rain without a coat or an umbrella poses quite a problem. He was joyfully entertained when Papa made him a shepherd with a belt and towel to protect him from the elements. Here's a picture of the results:

Yes.. that's one of my father's shepherd's crooks and it is actually quite helpful in herding the sheep. Jake and I have helped a handful of times on different farm projects, enough to know the value of it.

Earlier in the day Isaac had t-ball practice. Last year, we had the bright idea of enrolling Isaac into t-ball. I should say I had the bright idea, I can't really put any of that on Jake. I thought it would be great for him. He was just starting to learn how to make friends and I thought it would be another opportunity for him to get some social practice along with some exercise.

The first few days of his practices were almost as painful for us as it was for him. The first few rounds of games he was incredibly frustrated, didn't get at all the concept of being on a team. He had to work with people who didn't know how to communicate to him in a way that he could understand - which made me inwardly cringe all the time. What was I putting him through?

But you know what? Half way through.. he started to get it. At the end he loved it. I was so proud to see him succeed at the end. He's been asking since the end of last year when he could play again. He almost didn't get to, we were on a waiting list. I got a call at the end of last week and was told that if I could sign up in 24 hours he could play. He was thrilled.

Today was the big day, the first practice. He had a few chances at the beginning to practice batting.. man has he improved from the last year! Granted the ball stands on a stick and doesn't go anywhere but he can really connect with it this year with some serious force! He also has a fantastic arm(wanna guess which parent he gets that from?) and has gotten over his fear of catching the ball after he took a line drive to the face last year (yeah.. that wasn't good).

One of their first exercises then was to pair up and practice throwing/catching. I'm not sure why... but one of the helpers paired him up with this tiny little girl who's on the team. After a few throws back and forth in which neither of them were really paying attention, Isaac threw it..... and she caught it with her nose. Yeah, blood everywhere. Her dad was right there, immediately grandpa in the bleachers calls mom, oh man.... I felt bad. So did Isaac. He stood there with his shoulders hunched, his head hanging, shifting from foot to foot looking all around. I think he was afraid he was going to get yelled at.

She ended up being all right and making it through the last half of practice. I wanted it to be a teaching moment. So afterwards I had Isaac go up to apologize to her. He towers over her, a good head and shoulders plus some, and says barely above a whisper "Excuse me, Malorie?" Her dad tells her to turn around, he's doing the swaying thing he does and sort of wringing his wrists "I'm real sorry I hurt you." He looked like he was going to cry. Malorie just stared at him. I'm not sure if she heard him or if she wanted to sock him in the nose back. But her dad immediately chimed in "oh - that's ok. We know it was an accident." Isaac walked back with his head down, feeling all ashamed. "I didn't mean to" He said. I told him "Hey, no one is mad at you. But sometimes even our accidents can hurt people, and we still need to say we're sorry."

Which got me thinking on the way home about how as adults.. we can get all defensive when we're being told something we did that was hurtful... even if it was unintentional or an accident. I'm quick to feel the need to defend myself. Or how often do we feel like telling the other person how they're wrong for being offended. And really, sometimes all someone needs to hear is a "Gosh, I'm so sorry. Is there some way I can make that better?"

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