My initiation into the world of sports began thirty-five years ago when my oldest son ventured into the world of t-ball. As each brother reached the grand old age of four, he joined the ranks of youth baseball teams. I admit that sitting on uncomfortable bleachers for hours was no picnic, but some of my best “Mommy” memories spring from those balmy evenings in June as I cheered my little boys to victory.
With May's arrival, we leapt into all things baseball. Visiting the baseball card shop. Practices. Washing uniforms. Games. Washing uniforms. Junk food. I even sold an article to a magazine extolling the agony and the ecstasy of a six-inning Little League game.
We instituted baseball traditions at home. The season opened with our favorite videos. The Sandlot was an annual must-watch, and my husband rediscovered his childhood favorite, It Happens Every Spring. To gain relief from hotdogs and nacho dinners fresh from the concession stand, I could be counted on to bring the boys’ favorite sub sandwiches to their games. By the time, the youngest was in high school, those subs had won the distinction of a home run meal for the team between doubleheaders.
Years passed. The oldest boy developed a successful high school sports career in swimming. The next son reluctantly said goodbye to the game when he entered the premed program at his university. With one child left in baseball, I cherished every inning. We were able to attend games through all of his college years and beyond as he followed his dream to become a high school coach.
My boys will tell you that I never truly learned baseball. (“It’s not a hit, Mom. He only made contact with the ball.”) In one sense, they’re right. My sports lingo is filled with malapropisms, but I’ve learned a lot about baseball and life while raising my sons.
PleaseGodpleaseGodpleaseGod, don’t let him strike out. PleaseGodpleaseGodpleaseGod, help him to pitch over the plate. Not every one of those prayers was answered with a yes from the Almighty. Through God’s grace, my boys and I learned how to handle the success of RBIs and sacrifice bunts, as well as how to endure the humiliation of fielding errors and hitting the batter with a wild pitch.
My years as a baseball mom have trained me for writing as a second career. Where baseball consumed our leisure time every spring, I now spend my retirement hours every day either writing or learning some facet of writing. Instead of baseball games, I attend conferences, and I’ve gained a wonderful, new pool of friendships through those meetings and through ACFW.
I’ll work and rework a sentence until it sparkles with the exact meaning I desire, which leaves me with the satisfaction of making it safely to first base. Seasons pass, and I’m delighted at each new activity I try—entering contests, adding short stories and blogs to my noveling efforts, and serving in writers’ organizations.
PleaseGodpleaseGodpleaseGod, may this editor love my book. PleaseGodpleaseGodpleaseGod, help me pitch this story perfectly. Again, I don’t get a yes from my heavenly Father all the time. I receive a lot of rejections, and He’s given me the strength to keep writing, keep learning. I also see His hand in my life as He provides mentors and helps me develop the craft.
I possess a wealth of family memories from our seasons in baseball. In twenty years, I’ll own a treasure trove of writing memories. Positive or negative, each is to be cherished.
Savor the moments. In family. In work. In writing. In life.
Linda Sammaritan writes realistic fiction, mostly for kids ages ten to fourteen. She is currently working on a middle grade trilogy, World Without Sound, based on her own experiences growing up with a deaf sister.
Linda had always figured she’d teach middle-graders until school authorities presented her with a retirement wheelchair at the overripe age of eighty-five. However, God changed those plans when He gave her a growing passion for writing fiction. In May of 2016, she blew goodbye kisses to her students and dedicated her work hours to learning the craft. She still visits the school and teaches creative writing workshops.
Where Linda can be found on the web:
www.lindasammaritan.com www.scriblerians.com www.thescriblerians.wordpress.com www.puttingonthenew.com www.facebook.com/lindasammaritan www.twitter.com/LindaSammaritan