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.
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.
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.
Oh. And there were tears.
Lots and lots of ginormous, happy tears.