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Life Lessons from the T-Ball Field


As the Cincinnati Red’s fight to be recognized as a contender in the NL Central, the baseball story below provides a different slant on the game. I scribbled this in a journal 18 years ago, and happily came across it today. The memory is sweet.

I’m a T-Ball mom. This year our oldest child started playing T-Ball with eleven others who have quickly become her good buddies. Attending practice twice a week, and games on weekends, we T-Ball parents get to observe what has to be some of the greatest treasures life has to offer.

We watch boys cheer for girls who are much better players than they. These boys haven’t yet been tainted with the notion that, at this sport, boys are supposed to be better than girls.

We watch outfielders (actually they’re standing in the dirt of the infield) drawing circles in the dirt instead of positioning themselves for the next batter. When it comes right down to it, they really have no reason to worry. Rarely does a ball reach this far.

We watch kids who know it doesn’t matter who wins or loses. What matters is if the parent in charge of bringing the snack remembered…and secondly, what that snack is.

The other day I watched two five-year-old boys laughing and patting each other on the back. One was playing second base. The other was a base runner for the other team. These two had more important things to discuss than the game being played right in front of them.

We watch coaches say nothing but positive, encouraging words to their players, regardless of how poorly they play. Last week our daughter’s coach told her she did a super job of fielding the ball when, in fact, she hasn’t even figured out that her mitt opens and closes.

To T-Ball coaches everywhere, thank you for your patience, kindness, and the lessons you teach to the kids — and for the memories you provide their parents.


OMG Cincinnati

In January it was the bitter, take-your-breath-away cold. In April it was the gloomy sky. Two weeks ago it was the torrential downpours. And this week it’s the stifling heat and humidity. Could someone remind me why I live in Cincinnati?  Oh yeah. It’s my family. My friends. My neighbors. It’s the people, not the weather, that make this city a great place to live.

Who are you Cee Lo Green?

When I first met Cee Lo, the rotund rapper with the crystal clear voice, he was singing a catchy tune on the radio.  It was fast, snappy, and I listened while I ran (I’m a ‘serious runner.’ See Dec. 7 post.) But then I actually listened to the words behind the snap.  “F*** You.”  He shouts it 14 times in this one song.

I next met Cee Lo as a coach on TVs “The Voice.”  He’s upbeat, nice to the contestants, and not the kind of person you’d expect to gain fame by shouting F*** You.

Today I watched a music video promoting the upcoming mini-series, The Bible. It’s four minutes of goosebumps. A poignant video to the beautifully sung, Mary Did You Know?. And who owns that soulful, crystal clear voice?  Cee Lo Green.

Who are you Cee Lo Green?

Over pancakes and Power Rangers

When my son was just a little guy, he and I would go out to breakfast on Wednesdays after his sister left for school. The neighborhood diner was known for its spectacular pancakes and its cranky waitress. We called her “Krabby Patty” (the name of a popular hamburger on SpongeBob).  Sometimes, after Krabby Patty scribbled our order and sulked away, we would take a break from our usual conversation about Tonka trucks and Power Rangers, and wonder instead what would cause a person to be so routinely unhappy. At five years old my son already was learning that happiness is a choice. It’s a lesson that too many adults still haven’t figured out.  

What’s wrong with this song? Everything.

I love 60s and 70s music. Whenever I go to the library, I grab a CD for the car. Today it was Bobby Goldsboro. I laughed that I still remembered the words to Watching Scotty Grow. But I stopped laughing, and actually pulled over, as I listened to Summer The First Time. Then I played it again to be sure I heard it correctly:

     She was 31 and I was 17,

     I knew nothing about love, she knew everything…

     And when she looked at me, 
I heard her softly say, 

     I know you’re young, 
You don’t know what to do or say,

     But stay with me until the sun has gone away,

     And I will chase the boy in you away….

     We sat on the sand, and the boy took her hand,

     But I saw the sun rise as a man.

This song is about a pedophile!!  Women go to jail for this behavior! What were we thinking America? In 1973 Summer The First Time reached #21 on the Billboard Top 100. Ugh.

What if…?

What if you bought a half-million dollar home. Located in an exclusive neighborhood. Historic brick estates with neatly manicured yards. Your dream home in your dream neighborhood.

What if, as the holidays approached, you tastefully decorated your front door with fresh evergreen boughs and the perfect amount of white twinkling lights. A fitting display of holiday elegance at the entrance to your beautiful new home.

What if, days later, you watched your neighbor carefully install an inflatable motorcycle-riding Santa in his front yard. Then another. Then another. Then an animated Christmas candy land; a snow-filled six-foot globe;  a ten foot reindeer; an animated merry-go-round, and close to a dozen other inflatables on the roof, the chimney and throughout the yard.

What if Santa brought each of your kids a Red Ryder BB gun, even if they didn’t want one.  Would that be bad?

Post-Christmas coma

What is it about the Christmas holiday that makes me think it’s OK to eat and drink megadoses of stuff I would never consume in megadoses any other time of the year? Here it is, December 26, and I am comatose from the embarrassing amount of red wine, white wine, Bud Light Limes, apple pie, sugar cookies (with sprinkles) and hot cocoa that I managed to consume in the last three days. As my guests were leaving my house last night, I informed them that my next task, after doing the dishes, was to lose 15 pounds. I meant it. But here it is 14 hours into Day One of my healthy, post-Christmas eating regimen, and I don’t even want to put into words what I just ate for lunch. What will it take for me to actually mean what I say the day after I say it?

But that’s the beauty of weight-loss resolutions. If you fail, you can try again. And again.  And again.