This year, like many before it has been full of baseball. I am a father of two wonderfully talented boys who play baseball. I am also their coach, #2 fan right behind their mother who is their #1 fan.
Recently I have seen the below story going around social media in different forms that I think is based off the popular children’s books by Laura Numeroff. If you have not shared any of these books with your children, I strongly suggest you do! This story is about giving your boy (Girl/Child) a baseball and its impact on their lives. It is so true and touching that I had to share it.
If You Give a Boy a Baseball
If you give a boy a baseball, he will want a bat to go with it.
You’ll buy the best bat you can find, and then he will probably want a bucket of balls and a glove and some cleats too.
When he realizes he can’t carry all these things with his own two hands, he will want a bat bag.
Then he will want to spend hours begging you to go out in the yard to play with him even though you just want to sit on the couch and watch TV. He will insist. And his insistence will win!
When you go out in the yard to hit, pitch, throw, and catch. He will not want to go back in the house for dinner and will swear that even at dusk there is enough light to continue playing!
Next the backyard will get too small and he will want to go the baseball field to see how far he can hit and throw. Finally he learns to catch and then he wants friends to play with.
When a boy gets a jersey, he will want pants and socks and a belt and a hat to go with it! And a TEAM!!!
Then life as you know it will end!
There will be no more lazy weekends. You will see more sunrises than you ever thought possible! Every spare minute of your time will be spent hauling buckets, bags, stinky cleats, and crazy boys all over tarnation for practice and games. Your housewill be a mess, and your car will be dirty.
All because you gave a boy a baseball!
Your weekends will be spent freezing in the cold or burning in the hot summer sun in a lawn chair! His weekends will be spent gaining confidence and friends, learning new skills, and having fun getting dirty. So dirty you will learn a whole new way to do laundry! Like going to the car wash using a pressure washer!
You will be there the day he has his first strikeout, double play and hits his first home run! And he will make you so proud. The other parents will congratulate you. But you feel weird saying thank you because it’s not you at bat or on the mound. It’s all him . . . He did this.
His smile will grow bigger and bigger! And each year that he plays with that baseball, he will get better and better. And his love for the game, and confidence in himself will grow right along with his jersey size!
Right before your eyes, your little boy will be transformed from the baby who spun around with his head on the bat, (because he loves attention), into a pitcher. Because he still loves attention.
Then he might try to be a catcher, outfielder or infielder because baseball teaches him he can be anything he wants!
When you give a boy a baseball, you give him more than just a ball. You give him a sport, and a talent, and hope, and dreams, and friends, a new family, a place to learn about life, room to grow as a person where he can push his limits, and bravery, and courage and life, and memories. He will have all of these things, simply because you gave a boy a baseball.
Because you gave a boy a baseball, you too will develop new/lifelong friendships, developed solely from the same passion for the game and love of your team. You will cheer together, all because you gave a boy a baseball.
Then one day, many years from today . . . he will be in his room and a baseball will roll out from an old dusty bat bag underneath his bed. And he will pick it up and realize instantly that when you gave that boy a baseball, you also gave him a childhood that he would never forget! Then he will hug you, and your eyes may leak – because you realize that everything YOU gave up along the way . . . was worth it!
All because you gave a boy a baseball!