Thursday, August 19, 2010

Have fun. Do your best.

I've been coaching my daughter's tee ball team this summer. Yesterday was the last game. I will miss it.

The rules? Score keeping is not allowed. Everyone gets to bat, every inning. You swing til you hit the ball. Even if you're out, you stay on base. So, some innings have no outs. Some have five or six.

Errors are so common there is no stigma. Making a play correctly is met with joy and disbelief (did I really just catch the ball?). And the look on a kid's face when they do the job well is quietly eloquent. That sense of accomplishment is something that will follow through to writing, to music, to math homework, to preparing and presenting a good meal.

I end every game by asking them, what are the two rules of tee ball? The answer: have fun, do your best.

I fed the girls their first barbecued ribs a couple weeks back. At first they couldn't figure out how to eat them. Once they did, they were hooked. Like crack for carnivores. Youngest said, and this is verbatim: I just had a minute of heaven.

Hilary has been kind enough to give my post on the tenacity of weeds a Post of the Week award. Hil, you are too kind. Go visit her here. She's really nice.


Poet in Residence said...

Daughter? Sport?
Now then, here's something, go to my blog PiR and click on the "Bard on the Run" symbol and watch the highligts of the World Blind Football Cup 2010 currently taking place in Hereford, England.

meno said...

Sounds like fun. I wish these had been the rules when i did sports in school.

ArtSparker said...

I remember childhood after dinner softball with great fondness. Somehow time stretches out.

Last Tango in Los Angeles said...

Have fun and do your best. This is advice for the ages. I was once in an AA meeting and it was, unbeknownst to me, being held in what was normally a first grade classroom. There were some rules on the wall. 1) Play well with others. 2) Mind. 3) Don't cut in line. 4) Use your inside voice. 5) When it's time to nap, lay down without a fuss.

I have tried to live by those five rules since that day.

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

That sounds so perfect!! :D

I'm joining t-ball. Have to start somewhere... right?

Ribs are crack for carnivores. What a fabulous metaphor.

Wishing you dark skies and big smiles.

Scarlett & Viaggiatore

Laurita said...

Sweet. Lots of great memories for your little ones. I loved your daughter's comment about the ribs. :)

Margaret said...

"I just had a minute of heaven"

I think we will begin to see that your Youngest has a great capacity for fanspeak and other all-cappish burstings.

Clowncar said...

wow, PiR. The World Blind Football Cup is a real thing. I wouldn't have thought that. Very cool.

meno, the rules are very cool. they even told us that if we saw a parent keeping score we were supposed to go over and tell them to stop.

Art, my summer dusk memories of youth tend to revolve around epic gamers of hide and seek. All those leaning shadows. And when the streetlights come on, the rules change!

Brando, I quit paying attention to school rules when they told me I couldn't eat paste.

Sadly, Scarlett, very few clear skies lately. Missed the Perseids, and most of that dance of planets and moon. Big smiles I've got, though.

Laurita, it was pretty amazing. They weren't sure they'd like ribs. Then I showed them how to eat them and boom - like zombies seeking brains.

Margaret, I'm beginning to see why you love fanspeak - that instant semi-coherent all caps SQUEEEE! of delight.

Marcia said...

What a great coaching (and parenting) philosophy--bet you have happy girls!