This week's Memory Monday takes me back to the summer of 1987. My dad signed me up for a summer softball team in Rolla that spring...I had turned 7 the previous November, so dad thought I was ready to give this sport a try. Oh, was he in for a summer of hard work and frustration!
I remember going outside almost every afternoon and playing catch. He also worked with me on hitting, an effort that truly tried his patience I'm sure! But looking back, I can say that he really did show patience through all of it. This aggressive guy who's philosophy is, "If that's your best, your best isn't good enough," never showed that side of himself to his uncoordinated, 7-year-old daughter. We just kept working at it, day after day.
Each game I would go up to bat thinking, "This game I'll get a hit!" But I didn't. I'm pretty sure I struck out every time. I'm guessing that made for a long season for my parents! Until the very last game, the very last at bat. I went up to the plate with a new batting stance that dad tried to show me...hoping this would be what gave me the chance to hit that ball!
I swong...the bat hit the ball...success!
I was probably shocked, so as I took off towards first base, I took three steps (or so) and then fell flat on my face! Dad was coaching first base, so all I could hear was him saying, "It's ok, Chrissy...just get to the base!" I'm sure he just wanted me to be safe at first since it was the only time I got to touch first base the entire season! I got up and made it to the base, blood running down my knee. I don't even remember what happened after that, the rest of this memory is a blur.
The next spring I remember telling my dad I didn't want to play softball anymore. I'm sure this made him a little disappointed, so he just said, "Let's just try it one more summer, and if you don't like it after that, you don't have to play anymore." That summer I was the best hitter on the team, the "big girl" who teams always had to move the outfielders back for. It was a much better experience.
I'm glad he made me try one more time.
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