A pleasant evening with my doubts
For the first time since the warm spell way back in February, I had the chance to just sit outside and enjoy. The wafting of lilac on a gentle breeze, the antics of the chickens, the contented sounds of my children playing in the sandbox. I even played a game of fetch with Hunter until he flopped on the grass next to the children to chew on the stick I had been throwing.

Other noises joined the chorus of spring. Car doors, clanking metal and excited children. Adults began perching on the bleachers by the ball field as children ran to the playground and the coaches set up the field for practice.

What says spring in America more than baseball?

Then my daughter is sprinting out t o the ball field, talking excitedly with Bear and he runs in the house in a frenzied search for shoes. Just like that, little Bear is playing T-ball. And I am both excited and apprehensive. I want him to participate in organized activities. I want him to succeed in organized activities. I want him to know what it feels like to be a part of a team...a valued part of a team.

Not the kid everyone just puts up with. Not the kid no one wants to be paired with. Not the kid who gets away with too much because the leaders have stopped expecting anything different from him.

This is when I wish parenting were easier. I don't even know whether it is better to keep putting him in these activities even as he is failing at them, or if I should be holding him back, allowing him to mature before thrusting him on others.

But I tied his shoes and hobbled along behind him to sit in the bleachers with the other parents and watch my son at his first T-ball practice. I finally met the woman who owns the horses behind our house and the mother of the girl on Mouse's team I've heard so much about. We exchanged phone numbers and got to know each other a little more since our daughters obviously are becoming friends.

All the while, I had one eye on Bear. He practiced throwing, catching, batting and fielding. He learned some of the rules of the game. When the coaches were working with him or he had something to do, he paid attention.

When not, he sat down and played in the dirt. He constructed quite a nice mound behind second base. He dug a canal around the pitcher's mound. I think he graded third base for a new road. In short, he was doing everything every other T-baller was doing in between plays.

When it was over, he ran to me. Out of breath he declared,
I can't wait for Saturday. Why does Saturday have to be so far away?
From which I deduced his next practice is Saturday.