The schedules have opened up just in time for the holidays. Rabbit looks to have one last tournament this year. It is nice to have the break, especially with the chaos of impending holidays.
On the baseball side of things Rabbit is excelling beyond our dreams. He is hitting well (8 for his last 16 with several extra base knocks), pitching nicely and fielding very well. By far the biggest change comes from his confidence. He plays from pitch to pitch, with a short memory. It is OK to strike out, just get a triple next time up. It is OK to allow back to back line drive doubles so long as you find a way to get out of the inning. He has learned that there are many ways to be a good teammate. You do not have to do everything perfect. He can be as valuable with his glove as he is with his bat some days. This is baseball on a whole different level than I expected from 9 and 10 year olds.
On the personal side I cannot believe the change in my son. He has seen the highest highs and lowest lows. He has won and lost and been responsible for both. And more than anything, he wants to play more. It is still fun, and that is most important to me. When he plays after school with his friends it is always baseball. On XBox it is always baseball. He takes the game seriously, and treats it with respect. This will be, I hope, a passion for him for years to come. We are already planning our summer trips to watch more ball being played. This is amazing.
Times are tough for families now, and the costs associated with this activity can be staggering. I figure, by rough estimate, we have spent almost $4,000 this year between equipment, fees, instruction, tournaments and travel. That is not insignificant. Luckily some of that is "up front" costs that we will not need to pay annually. And we are making sacrifices, all of us, to keep doing the things we love. We are so fortunate with the team he is on and the coaches he is working with. This group of boys is amazing to watch. I look forward to seeing what happens in 2009. If I had to guess, we will win some, and lose some.