Family / Kids / Parenting

Dear Baseball, Thank You

My Boys of Summer

My Boys of Summer

Dear Baseball,

This summer sucked, in so many ways. My wife Tracie moved out. Our kids now split their time between two households. And while I am grateful beyond measure that this transition has remained amicable, there are no two ways about it: separation, no matter how “friendly,” still hurts like hell.

A few things have helped me stay grounded during the upheaval:

  1. Early morning meditation.
  2. The support of friends and family.
  3. Yoga classes at a studio where no one seems to mind my new style, “Crying Yoga,” a practice that requires nothing more than a mat, a box of tissues, and a willingness to burst into tears in front of strangers.
  4. You, Baseball.

Throughout this summer, more evenings than not, Baseball, you have found me on the back lawn, wearing a mitt I hadn’t touched since I was thirteen years old, playing ball with my kids.

I’m not sure what I’ve liked better, Baseball—the “How’s life going?” chats we’ve had while playing catch, punctuated by the rhythmic thwack of the ball hitting our leather gloves; the boys mumbling into their mitts, strategizing ways to strike me out; or watching them act out the highlight moments of their favorite San Francisco Giants players, while the setting sun edges their silhouettes in gold light.

Baseball, autumn is on its way, capping our sweltering Indian Summer days with chilly nights, the sun falling behind the mountains earlier and earlier as we work our way through September. Only a handful of games remain on the MLB schedule. Our team’s season of hard-earned triumphs and agonizing losses is all but over, and already I’m feeling nostalgic for it.

Tonight, as has become our routine, after drum lessons and homework and dinner, the boys and I brought our radio out to the back porch so we could listen to the Giants’ game as we played Three Flies Up and Monkey in the Middle.

Tonight, I took a good look at my guys—their playful trash talking, the giggling and goofing, their joy over a heroic catch, their slow motion re-enactments, just in case I missed it the first time.

This happened, too, I thought. Ten years from now, I might remember Summer 2014 as The Summer My Marriage Broke. But I want to remember this, as well: throughout these months of loss and grief and fear and change and growth, this happened, too. And for that, Baseball, I thank you.

PHOTO CREDIT: CHERYL DUMESNIL

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One Comment

  1. Jan Kaminsky says:

    Lovely.

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