He started the day with his fingers crossed that the baseball fields would be dry.

It hailed here yesterday and we Southern Californians are, well, a bit wimpy when it comes to weather.

Our  Parks and Recreation officials tend to take rain very seriously and baseball fields are often closed after a downpour.

Even if the last drop to hit the ground was over 24 hours ago.

So he waited.

And while he waited he gathered the navy and orange jersey, the crisp white pants, the bright socks and belt,  and the brand new hat.

And he folded them gently and placed them on the couch.

For his brother.

If possible, our young son Ian was more excited for this baseball game – his brother Andrew’s first – than we were.

So he kept his fingers crossed and kept watch over the uniform he had carefully prepared and waited.

And just when he was sure the game was going to be cancelled, I looked up from my laptop and our eyes met and he knew then that I had gotten word that the game was ON.

Andrew (left) and Ian, ready to head out to the first Challenger baseball game of the season. He helped get his brother's uniform ready. I may have shed a tear. Or a few more than that.

 

Andrew sits in the dugout for the first time with his brother Ian (center) and family friend Nathan (right)

 

 

It was amazing.

It was spectacular.

It was everything we had hoped it would be and more.

And you know what?

Even if he never wants to play again (which I sincerely doubt, judging by the big, beautiful grin he was sporting the entire time), it wouldn’t matter because the bottom line is he got a chance to try.

A chance.

That’s all we want for our son Andrew.

We want him to have a life filled with chances, so that he has the opportunity to decide whether or not he wants to participate in something.

We want it to be his decision, and not just the world telling him “NO Andrew, you CAN’T do this, you SHOULDN’T try that, you AREN’T capable or worthy.”

Today, out on that ball field, there were no CAN’Ts or SHOULDN’Ts or DONT’s.

There were no score cards.

There were no over-competitive parents screaming at their kids to run faster, hit farther, catch better.

There were no awkward silences or stares standing in the way of blossoming new friendships among players and their buddies.

There were no diagnoses or medical charts or IEP goals.

There were only boys and girls playing the most beautiful game of baseball I have ever see.

 

Andrew and his crew taking a pre-game moment to relax.
Warming up before game with daddy and brother.

 

Andrew gets the game started by being first up to bat.

 

Andrew runs to first base with guidance from his brother (left) and family friend Nathan (right). The buddies truly get so much out of the experience!

 

 

Andrew's buddies help keep him focused and running in the right direction.

 

 

 

Andrew heads towards home plate.

 

 

Grandma and grandpa watch their first grandson play his very first game of baseball.

 

Andrew gets a hearty congrats from his grandpa after he touched home plate for the first time.

 

 

Post-game family photo-op

 

Oh. And there were tears.

Lots and lots of ginormous, happy tears.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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12 Replies to “Home Run”

  1. That one sentence… “For his brother.” struck me to the core. I am so happy for your family. For Andrew and for Ian. In my life, I worry so much about Gavin’s little brother, Brian – that he will feel “jipped” in some way of a true brother experience because Gavin doesn’t talk or play like other kids. Then I read posts like this and it gives me such hope. I can understand the ginormous tears. They were welling up in my eyes and I don’t even know your family!

    I look forward to seeing more photos of Andrew’s baseball games!!

  2. So happy your family has the chance to experience Challengers Baseball. This will be Riley’s 10th season in Challengers. It has been absolutely wonderful!!!!

  3. I am so happy for you all, this is so delightful and beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing this with us, it is a wonderful thing to see such love, support and opportunity.

  4. Oh man — that was us last year as my older two boys had the *chance* to play in our local Challenger league for the first time — it was such an exciting time around here and the boys are giddy with excitement over the league starting up again soon! {{hugs}} From one mom to another – we can celebrate the little things for our amazing kids, but sometimes the BIG things are pretty awesome too – for the whole family.

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