A Side of Rice

Hopefully Humorous (and sometimes R-rated) Musings About Life


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Top 8 Tips for Being a Volunteer Social Media Account Manager

A couple of years ago, I wrote about why I would never be put in charge of the Community sign board. The real reason, frankly, was that there were not enough symbols in the letter box for all the cuss words I would want to use.

SignBoardLetters

Yeah, I’m gonna need a lot more of these symbols

Flash-forward to a few years later, when my oldest son entered high school and I joined the Athletic Boosters. There was a volunteer opportunity to up our social media cred with a more robust Facebook page and a new Twitter account.

Easy peasy. I just post game results from the paper, shout outs to alumni, and event announcements, right?

Wrong

Here’s what I’ve learned so far when it comes to being the volunteer social media manager.

Tip #1: Be careful about posting more than one image in your twitter feed

One of the Booster accounts for a county rival posted two photos on twitter that caused an awkward appearing ‘headline.’ The red oval is where the two photos ‘combined’ in the Twitter feed, resulting in overlaps of the actual headlines, and leading to the unfortunate looking “Urbana Girls Grab Oakdale Boys” ‘headline.’

Headline merge

Tip #2: Parents will never see the posts about their own kids, so get ready for the blow back

No matter how many times you mention a sport, there will be someone whose kid is on the team and didn’t see the post. My remedy for this? I go back to every instance of me posting about that sport and tag that parent in the comments. Enjoy your ridiculous uptick in Facebook notifications, friend.

Tip #3: Tag parents on Facebook posts

Actual Facebook messenger mail I received: “I see you tagged <name of parent> when you posted about <student athlete’s> name in the paper. You didn’t tag me when <my precious angel> was named in the paper. How can you remedy that?”

I thought of replying with: “Oh my word! I had no idea <your precious angel> was your child, since:  a) the school has over 1,000 students, b) I don’t know every damn kid in the school, and 3) I don’t know your family or kid at all. Perhaps if you’d join the Boosters for the mere $25 a year membership fee, it would jog my memory when it comes to tagging your ass in every post for <my precious angel>.

Instead, I responded with: Thanks for letting me know. We’re always looking for new members and volunteers – hope to see you at a Boosters Meeting in the future!

Tip #4: Tag students on Twitter posts

They love to see themselves tagged and will “like” and “retweet”. A lot. So will their friends when they see it.

Just know that you will probably have to wade through a whole bunch of …

  • @hotbod69
  • @bootygirl4U
  • @BIGlaxstick
  • @team_balls_out

…nonsense twitter handles to find some of these athletes. Hey kids – do yourself a favor and set up a handle that reads more like someone trying to impress admissions officers at colleges, and less like you are trying to impress your potential Tinder dating pool. Except for you, Jacob Wetzel. I love your handle: @wetzhispants

Tip #5: If you are posting daily athletic contest schedules, be ready for Mother Nature to %*@! with you

I hate snow and rain, which has impacted every sport so far this year, multiple times this year. Even the indoor sports. When school is cancelled due to weather, so are all after school activities. Then they get rescheduled. Over and over.  So, be ready if Mother Nature is having a bad day/week/month/season. You’ll get carpal tunnel keeping up with all the changes.

Tip #6: You are not in charge of the @Wendys or @UMBCAthletics accounts.

While it would be a life goal of mine to be the person in charge of either of these accounts (filled with humor and snark – and getting paid for it!) I am currently NOT in charge of an account like this:

UMBCWendys

I really only got snarky/funny twice. Once, when a cross-town rival taunted our football team at a game this past Fall. We had graduated amazing groups of senior football players in 2017 and 2018, including Jacob Wetzel – the 2016 County Defensive Player of the Year, member of the 2016 State Championship team, member of the 2017 Conference Champion team, and 2017 County Offensive Player of the Year, who is now at Old Dominion University. The student section from the other team brought a sign, and I snapped a photo and tweeted about it:

Wetzhispants

I give Jacob a pass on his Twitter handle; it makes me laugh every time I have used it

And the second time, when our girls soccer team was a State finalist, and a local business wished them well.

RoysStates

I know Wendy’s knows what’s up also, but there isn’t a Wendy’s in our community.

Tip #7: If a sports emoji is missing; get creative. Literally.

We are the blue and gold Lions. Every social media post for our accounts concludes with 💙🦁💛 and then the emoji for that sport. 

For the first year, there was no softball emoji, so I used a blue diamond, for softball diamond: 💙🦁💛🔷. For lacrosse, I used the net: 💙🦁💛🥅 .  I am totally geeked out that I can now use the actual emojis:

softball lax stick

 

 

We have a swim/dive team and I made a request for a springboard/platform dive emoji from Unicode. Basically, Unicode told me I have to create an image to submit for consideration.

Since I’m not a graphic designer, here’s my submission, Unicode: 🖕   How’s that for creative?

Tip #8: This is a volunteer gig, but one that matters to your community.

It’s tough, sometimes, to take the flack, to listen to the complainers, to always be asked for more of our time and energy.  However, I keep this in mind for all my volunteer work in the community:

Who was watching

💙🦁💛

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In 2019, I Resolve to Have More Resolve

As a new year approaches, I reflect on everything I’ve accomplished in 2018. So far, the list includes:

  • Baked over 500 cookies during the Christmas holiday season
  • Began writing entries on my blog again
  • Found no redeeming qualities of — or contributions to mankind from — any member of the Kardashian family
  • Binge watched all the episodes of The Great British Baking Show
  • Didn’t get arrested
  • Watched my oldest son play his last baseball game after 10 years participating in the sport, without becoming too much of a blubbering, unhinged mess
  • Watched my youngest son catch the same pay-it-forward bug as I have, through his high school lacrosse team’s community service efforts, without bragging too much about it
  • Participated in the Terrible Thanks for Asking podcast #TerribleWritingClub Challenge
  • Not losing my shit when I was told how much adding a 16 year old boy driver to our car insurance policy would cost
  • Bought a new car, then suffered severe buyer’s remorse as I realized the monthly payment means we have to curtail our habit of dining out at least 3…well, maybe 4…ok, so more like at least 5 times a week

So what are my resolutions for 2019? Well, the list is simple:

  • Bake cookies and goodies as much as I can
  • Write in my blog as much as I can
  • Ignore the Kardashians as much as I can
  • Binge watch shows I like as much as I can
  • Avoid behaviors that could lead to an arrest as much as I can
  • Get to my oldest son’s new Spring sport — high school Track & Field competitions — as much as I can
  • Support my youngest son’s community service efforts with his lacrosse team as much as I can
  • Listen to more Podcasts and participate in more listener activities as much as I can
  • Not freaking out about our insurance premiums — especially when I add the second teen boy driver to the policy in late 2019 — as much as I can
  • Not suffer buyer’s remorse and make dinner at home as much as I can

Finally, I will not beat myself up for not making dinner at home as much as I can. Because I know how much resolve I have when it comes to that.

Happy-New-Year-GIF.gif

 


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How Are You – Really?

Because of my long work commute — and when my teenagers haven’t eaten up all our fucking data 6 days before the end of the billing cycle Verizon— I listen to podcasts. I subscribe to How I Built This, Criminal, Terrible Thanks for Asking, and The Mortified Podcast among others.

The Terrible, Thanks for Asking podcast issued a writing challenge, and I texted my interest as requested. The first writing request came through on November 15 – so here goes…

“How Are You — Really?” – November 15, 2018

Image-1

Quick answer? Of course I’m totally up to my ass in alligators, so this post is two days late.  But here are a couple of the things I was thinking about on November 15, 2018…

  • I feel grateful to be teleworking. Normally on a Thursday, I would be making the trek to work, but because of 1-3″ of snow predicted, I am working from home. Schools are closed, so that means 2 teenage sons, 2 dogs and 1 work-from-home husband are also in the house with me. And that 1-3 annoying inches turned out to be 8.1″.IMG_2182.jpgI am also grateful I figured out the thermostat had reset to 60 degrees and that’s why the house was freezing and not because the stupid HVAC system had gone out again.
  • I really feel annoyed because Mother Nature is a spiteful bitch — yet another high school game has to be rescheduled today. As the manager of social media (Facebook and Twitter accounts) for my son’s high school Boosters program, I have had to update schedules because of rain outs/thunderstorms throughout the entire Fall season. Today, it is the State Championship for our girls soccer team – the first time they have ever been to the State Championship. However, due to the weather, it is now rescheduled to Friday. So I am spending time updating event posts, images created, and responding to parent inquiries about decisions made … because, yes, the governing body of Maryland State high school sports consults me specifically about what is convenient — or not — for all of you before it reschedules anything.Longroll
  • I’m a bit pensive as I ruminate about my job description. My boss shared a proposed update with me and asked for feedback, as we work together to build a strong team with talents focused in the correct areas. I think it is a good start, but I plan to discuss some nuances that would make it a better use of my strengths. Because, I need to own my path and stand for what I’m passionate about and what resonates with me. I am feeling confident about my ability to have that conversation.

So that’s where my head is at today, Thursday, November 15, 2018: grateful, annoyed, pensive and confident. At least I’m not terrible. Thanks for asking.

#TerribleWritingClub


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WWTTMD (What Would This Team Mom Do)

I have never had the chore  drudgery  onus  privilege of being a team mom for any of the sports my boys have played. The list of sports since 2008 includes soccer (briefly), baseball (until this year), football and basketball (still playing both), and lacrosse (since 2014). Next Spring, we start track & field.

I have had 40 seasons (spring-summer-fall-winter) over 10 years to offer my services as team mom.  I have not volunteered even one time to actually be the team mom. However, positions I have held include:

  • team photographer
  • team fundraising organizer
  • team baker
  • team cheerleader and spirit wearer
  • team face painter (my own and others)
  • team snack maker
  • team dinner server

Of course, the position I am always actively involved in and exercise the most is team eye roller, when I hear parents  snivel  whine  bitch  offer criticism about anything team related, including (but certainly not limited to):

  • more playing time for their kid
  • location of events
  • referees
  • our coach’s play calling
  • the other team’s rudeness (coaches, players, fans)
  • why we can’t have names on uniforms
  • having to work the concession stand
  • team dinner sign ups
  • team pictures process

So, if you’d like to know what I would do as team mom (and why I will never actually be team mom), here’s the list:

Your complaint: More playing time for your kid

If I were team mom, I would tell you there are:

PlayingTime

But I don’t have time to go over all 12 tips because I have other parents who have the same  annoying damn question. So, in the interest of maximizing my time, here are all 12 tips synthesized into 12 easy words:  Not one of the kids on this team is going pro. Deal.

Your complaint: The Location of Events

If I were team mom, I would tell you that unless you want to double the time you are voluntold to spend in the concession stand, it is sweet blessed relief to travel to another team’s field so you can give that knowing look to the parents in that concession stand when you order the luke-warm diet soda and foil wrapped, smashed hotdog.

Your complaint: Referees

If I were team mom, I would tell you that we don’t have the money to fund the lasik surgery they all clearly need. And that I have no interest in heading up the fundraiser it would take to pay for it.

Lasik

(C) John McPherson/Distributed by Universal Uclick via cartoonstock.com

Your complaint: Our coach’s play calling

If I were team mom, I would tell you to volunteer your weekends and weeknights for practices and game days. This would also include listening to <insert number of kids on team here> parents tell you as a volunteer coach exactly what you are doing wrong and how to correct it. And please listen to all of these experts and then not tell them to f*ck off.

ParentCoach

Your complaint: The other team’s rudeness (players, coaches, fans)

If I were team mom, I would tell you that unless anyone from the other side (player, coach and/or fan) looks like this, just shut up and cheer your kid and our team on.

San Diego Chargers v Oakland Raiders

Your complaint: Why we can’t have names on uniforms

If I were team mom, I would pull out this sign and shove it in your face. Plus it costs money to personalize jerseys, so I will just ask you to cut a check for every player’s jersey if that shit so important to you.

 

Jersey

Your complaint: Having to work the concession stand

If I were team mom, I would tell you the money we make from concession sales helps to fund things for the sport … like parents who insist that every player get a personalized jersey every year. So, shut up and make the sno-cones.

Calm SnoCones

Your complaint: Team dinner sign ups

If I were team mom, I would bark back at you that I’m the one who has to nag the shit out of people to sign up for the 18 slots available, when there are 50+ kids on the team. Oh yeah, and it’s the same parents who sign up every week. The remaining 30+ wait until all the slots are full and will then fight over who gets to bring a package of napkins – which isn’t even on the list.

Drinkit

Your complaint: Team picture process

If I were team mom, I would remind you that Ansel Adams has no kids on the team, so Victor O’Neill (who doesn’t have any kids on the team either) and his Studio flunky assigned to this team on this day are the people in charge.  Just to be clear, there are also two important elements that I don’t control. They are 1)  that your kid joined the team late and missed picture day, and/or 2) whether or not you would have preferred the jersey with their name on it for the picture.

danger

So, now that I’ve covered the basics of team momming, let me know if you have any questions.

dumblooks


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What the Suck?

While driving home from work the other day, an ad came on the radio. Normally, I’m pretty good at filtering out the ads between music, but this one really grabbed my attention based on two simple words.

Vampire. Facial.

Editor’s note: Do not do an internet image search on “vampire bite”, “vampire sucking on a face” or “vampire attack” to get a funny picture to add to your blog. Unless you would like a bunch of porno vampire images in your search engine memory or malware warnings even when you click on the three non-porno images out of the bajillion porno images. You’re welcome.

The reigning queen of being famous for absolutely nothing and having no talent, well, she had one of these unusual beauty treatments in 2013. She even shared a photo on Instagram during the middle of it:

KimKvampirefacial

Image courtesy of Mrs. K-West’s Instagram account.

The reigning queen of being famous for absolutely nothing other than having a bangin’ body and exotic beauty (but — most importantly — having no talent what-so-ever) also has over 116 million followers on Instagram. Her post sky-rocketed interest in this treatment option, that (reportedly) can also be used to beef up your brows or even your breasts.

Including my social media accounts Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and this blog, I have just over 2,000 people who follow me.  So, compared to Kim K-W when it comes to influence and ability to generate revenue on social media…

hello-my-name-is

No wonder I have menopausal acne, my brows droop and my boobs sag. The reason certainly can’t be because I turn 52 in a few days. It’s really all because I can’t afford vampire facials. Or vampire brow and boob lifts.

Earlier this year, Kim was quoted as saying about the procedure, “It was honestly the most painful thing ever!” Really? I would have guessed losing her dad to cancer would be the most painful thing ever. But I only have 2,000 social media followers, so what do I know?

Well, here’s what I know. ‘Vampire facials’ are the grab-you-by-the-balls, made-up marketing name for a combination of microdermabrasion followed by a mask of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) that helps boost your skin’s cell turnover. The plasma is your own – a doctor will draw blood from you, spin it in a centrifuge to extract the PRP, and then inject or apply it topically.

Plus, I also know that ‘Vampire facial’ is much easier to pronounce than microdermabrasion, platelet-rich plasma and centrifuge.

You know what doesn’t roll off the tongue so easily? ‘Celebrities-who-don’t- have-the-confidence-to-age-gracefully-but-have-plenty-of-money-to-spend-on-stupid-ass-shit-that-their-bajillion-followers-will-try-even-though-those-followers-do-not-have-that- kind-of-disposable-income’.

But that’s ok, because I’m a confident 52, even without a vampire facial. So suck on that.

52andFabulous

I am a 52 year old Leo…hear me roar.

 

 


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10 Keys to a Great Vacation

You know it’s gonna be a great vacation when the morning you are scheduled to leave starts like this:

  • Husband: “who moved my keys?”
  • Me: “Last I saw them was on the table, as I was packing the car.”
  • Oldest Son, as he yanks earbuds out: “Huh?”
  • Youngest Son, as he watches a YouTube video: “Not me.”

Which led to this from my husband: Annoyed dad

So — a half an hour of frantic searching, much cussing and still no keys later — we were on our way to Myrtle Beach, SC. I believe the infamous shoving off pronouncement was “you people better hope you remember which one of you moved my keys and where you put them by the time we get home”, which generated the following response from me:

Whatgif

And the following responses from our boys:

  • Oldest Son, as he yanks earbuds out: “What?”
  • Youngest Son, as he watches a YouTube video: “OK.”

The first full day of our vacation, as all the electronic device chargers/cords were unpacked, my husband sheepishly said “Oh, I found my keys. Someone must have grabbed them with all the cords and thrown them in this bag.”

Which generated the following response from me:

NeeNeeGif

And the following responses from our boys:

  • Oldest Son, as he yanks earbuds out: “No thanks.”
  • Youngest Son, as he watches a YouTube video: “Sure.”

Later in the week, after a day at the beach, the second key to the rental condo went missing. My husband’s questions were “Oh for fuck’s sake, who took the key to the beach?”, “Why did we buy a beach bag without zipper compartments?”, and the always helpful “Can any of you remember where you put the damn key?”

Which generated this from me:

Longroll

And the following responses from our boys:

  • Oldest Son, as he yanks earbuds out: “I’m not.”
  • Youngest Son, as he watches a YouTube video: “In a minute.”

Finally, on our last night, after thoroughly checking each beach bag, tearing the cushions off the sofa, and pulling everything out of the car to search for the key, I queried my husband with “did you check the pockets of all your shorts?”

Which generated this from him:

House

And the following responses from our boys:

  • Oldest Son, as he yanks earbuds out: “I’ll take a Hot Pocket.”
  • Youngest Son, as he watches a YouTube video: “I don’t like Hot Pockets, can we have something else?”

And this response from me, when — lo and behold — the missing key was found in a pair of his shorts.

Itoldyousoface.gif

And our kids were quick to pile on:

  • Oldest Son, as he yanks earbuds out: “Nick did it.”
  • Youngest Son, as he watches a YouTube video: “Wait…what?”

So, aside from not losing your actual keys or your rented condo keys, the proverbial keys to a great vacation are as follows:

  1. Don’t be surprised by everyone sleeping through the early morning trek to your destination, especially when traffic is at a complete standstill

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

2. Let your kid ham it up whenever possible for the best photo ops IMG_1669

3. Feed teenagers on a regular basis, as they appear their happiest when they are eating.IMG_1673

4. Embrace the fact that you’re raising goof ballsIMG_1713

5. Your mantra for the week should be “Shut up liver. You’re fine.”IMG_1678.JPG

6. Be ready for rounds of golf taking longer than normal with non-pros in your foursome

7. In addition to feeding teenagers, a sure way to get a thumbs-up is with a day at the water park IMG_1686

8. Don’t over-stress picture taking…you won’t have to work very hard to get photos where your kids appear as if they actually like one another (light up ferris wheel and water park not always included)IMG_1759

9. Eat dessert

IMG_1749

Limoncello cake with mascarpone frosting at Sole Restaurant in Myrtle Beach, SC

10. Be silly IMG_1762

Because that’s always better than taking silly things too seriously. Like “lost” keys, for instance.

 


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Maybe, the First Cut Isn’t the Deepest

On Thursday, July 12, my son Alex had a baseball game at Heritage Farm Park in Walkersville, MD. For most people that know us, this is not in any way unusual. He’s been playing baseball for 10 Springs/Summers, starting with Tball back in 2009.

heritagefarm_park

Our home field — regardless of the age level — has always been one in Heritage Farm Park. Well, with the exception of the high school team, which plays at a field on the high school property.

I have spent countless hours in Heritage Farm Park on a variety of ball fields, freezing my ass off in unseasonalby cold and rainy Springs, and questioning the power of my own deodorant in the blisteringly hot and humid heat of Summer.

And then, of course, there is concession stand duty, which all baseball moms know as the 10th circle of hell. If Dante had run that manuscript by his wife first, his list of circles would have been completed properly.

Calm SnoCones

2017 was Alex’s freshman year in high school. He had tried out for and made the JV team. But this Spring, he tried out for and was cut from the baseball team.

Wait…what?  For the first time in 10 years, Alex was cut from a team and would not be  playing baseball in the Spring. And neither Alex nor his parents were prepared for that because he’d made every travel team and All Star team that required tryouts since 2010.

Well, there was the exception of a regional elite team in 2015. We hadn’t expected him to make that team, but thought it would be a good idea for him to try out. The extra exercise in the days between baseball and football seasons would serve him well. And heaven freakin’ forbid there be a full week where he didn’t need to wear cleats for some reason.

It’s not like 2015 was a washout — though he didn’t make the elite team, he played rec/travel baseball with his regular team that Spring and Summer.

This Summer, he tried out for an American Legion team. He made the team, but it was a regional team, with fewer of the teammates he’d grown up with and a new coaching staff. And because he’d missed Spring with the high school team, he struggled with his skills.

After this season’s experience with baseball, Alex made the decision that football is his priority sport. At 6′ 2″ and over 250 pounds (and only 3/4 of the way through puberty, according to his pediatrician), he’s built for football. He’ll be the starting center on the varsity football team this Fall, when he begins his junior year in high school.

Alex has also decided he won’t be trying out for high school baseball next Spring. Instead, he’ll be doing the Field part of Track and Field with some of his football lineman buddies. And in a fantastic — though bittersweet — twist, his Track and Field coach will be the wife of one of his former baseball (and basketball) coaches, who passed away suddenly last year.

Steve and Alex 1

Alex and Coach Steve at The Ripken Experience in Aberdeen. RIP Steve ❤️

Steve and Alex 2

Steve coaching Alex at first base. RIP Steve ❤️

On Thursday, as I drove through the park on my way to watch Alex’s game, I realized this was the last baseball game of the season at Heritage Farm Park. His last baseball game at Heritage Farm Park. Ever. The realization of this choked me up a bit, the way it did when he walked off the field after his last game with the GVAA Junior Lions football team in 2015, since he would be moving on to high school the following Fall.

IMG_4523

October 10, 2015: Alex (#68) leaves the football field at Heritage Farm Park for the last time of his GVAA Junior Lion football career, though the team would go on to the playoffs at other locations. Walking with him are his dad and his younger brother Nick, who missed most of the season with a broken collar bone, courtesy of some backyard football shenanigans with his brother Alex.                                                                                                                                                                                      I’m pretty sure I boo hoo’d as I took this photo.

Field #5 where he currently plays baseball is the last field on the loop that you drive through in Heritage Farm Park. This night, I stopped at every field and took a picture, which stirred a number of memories…

2009: Tball

Alex in Tball

Alex as a Tball Pirate – 8 years old.

Tball Field

Tball field in 2018: fences in front of the benches, behind home plate, and to outline the outfield have been added since Alex played – compared to the picture above. From this vantage point, you can see three other baseball fields, of the six total baseball fields in the park. There are also 2 softball fields, multiple soccer fields, a frisbee gold course, a par-3 golf course, a football/lacrosse field, multiple football practice fields, two playground and picnic areas and a variety of walking paths. Plus a community garden and mulch pile for yard waste.

 

2010: Machine pitch

Machine pitch 2010

The 2010 GVAA Wildcats All Star Team – Alex is in the second row, far left. They once played in a tournament as the lowest seed on the championship day. They battled through 4 games that day in 100+ degree heat to win the tournament.

Machine and kid pitch field

2018: The machine pitch field, which can also be used for kid pitch. On this evening, the machine pitch All Star team was practicing.

2011: First year of kid pitch

2011 2nd Place in State Tournament

2011 GVAA All Star Team – Runners-up in the Maryland State Tournament that year. Alex is in the second row, far left (#22)

Kid pitch field

2018: Kid pitch field where the heartbreaking runner up finish in the Maryland State Tournament took place.

2012: Kid pitch

2012

Alex took on the new position of catcher in 2012. He was a big force behind the plate and a run blocking machine, which he successfully did in this picture.  It’s the same field they played on in 2011.

2013: Kid pitch field, a bit larger as they hit the pre-teen years

2013

Alex at bat

Preteen Field

2018: The field that kids play on after they move up from the smaller kid pitch field. A father and son are doing some batting practice on this evening.

2014: Still on the kid pitch field; the year of The Ripken Experience

2014 Ripken Experience

Alex on the mound during a game at the 2014 Ripken Experience Beach Blast Tournament. The team did fundraising and preparation for 2+ years to make the trek to this event. It was a great week. We made it to the playoff round, but were knocked out of the tournament by a team from Georgia that played baseball year-round.

2015: We move up to a larger field

2015

Alex takes a foul ball off the mask. He stayed in the game after getting his bell rung.

2015A

Alex and his brother Nick, who (perhaps not so willingly) served as the bat boy for the team

Field 4

Field #4 – one step away from the “big” boy/adult field. On Thursday night, the 14U All Star team is getting ready to practice, as they prep for the state tournament taking place this weekend.

2016: Same field, becoming young men

2016

A between innings chat with the umpire

2017: We move to the big field; Alex plays high school ball in his freshman year

2017 JV

Alex on the JV high school baseball team in the Spring

2017 GVAA Travel

Playing for the travel team in the Summer

Big boy field

The “big boy” field, the evening of July 12, 2018. Getting ready to play ball.

2018: The final year

2018

My baseball knight, in his catcher’s armour

Last Night Behind the Plate at Heritage.JPG

Alex catching in the last baseball game he will ever play at Heritage Farm Park, Thursday, July 12, 2018

The memories I have from Alex’s youth baseball career are deep. They include…

…10 years of physical growth, skill honing and emotional development

…10 years of amazing wins and heartbreaking losses

…10 years of community and friendship building in a new town we had moved to when Alex was just 2 years old, with no family or established friend support system locally

…10 years of new teammates coming, old teammates going and some teammates being there for the entire ride, like these two:

IMG_4273A

Teammate Mason Long

IMG_4377A

Teammate Jacob Kutchey

All of these baseball memories cut deep into my psyche. And they are stronger than any disappointment I may have temporarily felt about Alex not making the high school baseball team this year.

Painful cuts can be deep. We feel them more. Or, perhaps, when we reflect on all the memories, we just think we feel them more.