Sunday, April 05, 2009

The First Day of Baseball

Today was a big, huge, mega-big-deal day for Kyle and Owen Johnson-McCormick. The First Day of Baseball. They have been so excited for this day. Just so, so excited. Words cannot describe. They have been eating, sleeping, breathing, and talking talking talking playing playing playing baseball since the weather got warm enough to be out there every single day playing it. To say that these boys love baseball (and the Red Sox in particular) is a major understatement. Luckily for us all (because I don't know what we would have done if it had been rained out), it turned out to be an absolutely spectacularly gorgeous spring day. Truly the perfect day for this momentous occasion. This momentous occasion that they boys had been eagerly anticipating for many sleeps now.

A few weeks ago I signed K & O up for t-ball with our town league. Technically they aren't quite old enough, but they are soooo ready for this, and I could not imagine making them wait another year before starting. The officials let them slide in despite the fact that they are by far the youngest on the team (from what I could tell the next youngest player is six months older than them and the vast majority of the kids are 6 or 7 year olds). In true K & O style, though, they managed (seemingly quite easily) to hold their own and make a name for themselves on the first day. Owen was, as usual, quite the hot ticket on the field -- a rowdy funny guy who gives everyone a run for their money and a lot of laughs along the way. Kyle was the epitome of himself -- earnest and eager and completely heart-meltingly enthusiastic. Both of them hit the ball real well and (miraculously) followed the orders of the coach for the entire 1.5 hour "practice" (although it was, admittedly, getting a little touch-and-go there at the very end). This was real 'old school' t-ball (i.e., lots of dull time with nothing to do but pick dandelions in the field as the coach cycles through every single kid making sure each one makes at least one hit while everyone else just stands there). As a person who grew up at a children's camp, having been a camp counselor myself, and having had my fair share of experience dealing with kids/people/leading events/etc... I sat there thinking of at least 100 different ways that they could modernize this way-too-old tradition and make the time so much more fun and exciting for the kiddos. I felt for K & O -- watching was kinda painful -- and at one point I overheard Owen say (sorta to himself and sorta to the coach) "Well, there sure is lots of extra time!" (a very nice way of saying, "wow, this sure is boring") -- but, alas, they did survive, with their love of baseball (hopefully) fully in tact. The highlight for each of them was, of course, when they had their own turn up at bat. They can hit the ball pretty easily off the tee (they are, after all, used to hitting real pitches from MorFar, Braydon, or anyone else willing to throw it to them), so they each got to hit a few balls in a row. Kyle got to play First Base for a while, and loved it; "I got to be the first baseman!" he told MorFar when he called to ask how t-ball had been. Meera hung out with Braydon and I as we watched the big boys play. And those boys, I've just got to say it: They were so cute today. As Braydon and I sat there watching with Meera we must have said to each other, at least 2 dozen times, something along the lines of: "Wow, this is like ridiculously all-Americana." Photo documentary below! (as always, click on any photo to enlarge)

Kyle on the phone with MorFar first thing this morning--
chatting it up with excitement about the first day of baseball.
Right before we left for practice--
they wanted to wear their Red Sox shirts, of course.
Owen up at bat.
Kyle up at bat.
Meera cheers!
Owen hitting another ball.
Owen running home!
Kyle hits another ball.
Kyle running home!
Like I said, "ridiculously all-Americana."
Could there be a cuter baby sister on the sideline?


Dear MorFar,
This whole baseball thing... this thing that the boys love so... it is all because of you, and it is all for you.
Your Daughter (who hated t-ball when I was a kid, but who is loving giving you baseball-LOVING-grandsons)
Baseball in the driveway, May 2006
Watching a Red Sox game on t.v., July 2008


Kristen said...

the part at the end, to your father, made my heart melt :-) so glad the boys had a great first day of baseball!! oddly - their first day of baseball corresponded to the MLB opening day as well! :-)

Lori said...

OMG! I'm 100% team Ky & Ownen! GO BOYS GO!!! They look too cute for words! ALL OF THEM!!!


Don Johnson (MoFar) said...

Dear Heather, Braydon, Meera, Owen and Kyle,
WOW! This is a big day. And what a gift this is! I'm truly loving every minute of it. Thank you very much.
Love, MorFar

Christina said...

Okay, all the pictures are adorable, but I have to admit that the last one is just like, sugar-shock sweet. I love the way the guys have the same look on their faces.

Glady said...

GO O and K and GOOOOOOOOOOO Sox...I cant wait for my 2 o clock walk in the rain up Fenway to get my kids their baseball gears :)

Gail said...

I'll bet that the coach is wondering if he'll be able to say that he had the privilege of beginning of a world class career.


Sara said...

I spent many a day on the baseball field both playing and watching my brother play and have MANY fond memories.
It was also the first time my brother and I got head lice - from sharing helmets! :)

Brianna said...

My very active 5-year-old just started his first season of baseball too, and I was thinking the same thing about the waiting and waiting part of it! The teacher in me kept wanting to suggest setting up four or five rotating "centers" to have small group of kids working simultaneously on batting, catching, running, etc. Then I realized that I should probably keep my big mouth shut or else I might accidentally "volunteer" myself to help -- LOL! I did wonder if my little guy would like it with so much waiting (and he seeks ACTION ACTION ACTION all the time) but he loved it! I think our Haitian boys are going to rock Little League -- it won't know what hit it!

Lisa S said...

OMG the last picture....the one with your dad is toooooo sweet!!! THAY ARE ALL SO INTO THE GAME!! And your dad's arms around them, what a great shot of male bonding and and how cool to see passing on the love of "America's Pastime" at it's purest.....Maybe next year "Opening Day" at the park!!!