My Apologies

Several months ago I went on vacation.  Just before I left, I mentioned here in my blog that I would be gone and that I would come back refreshed, reenergized, and with lots and lots of stories to tell and pictures to share.

Well I did come back reenergized.  I had a blast visiting my favorite cousin and my other relatives.  I do remember sharing several pictures.  I also remember promising to share more as soon as I finished transferring the pictures from my digicam to my computer.

That, ladies and gentlemen, was about almost two months ago.  After posting the picture of my close encounter with darling George (Clooney), I seemed to have disappeared once again.

This time, not for a vacation.  This time, for work.  I had to work on something my son loved… something that even I have grown to love. 

Baseball.

Getting Ready for July

Several blogs back, I mentioned about a baseball tournament that I was organizing.  Well, said tournament is this July… and it seems like the moment I got back from vacation, I had to spend all my waking hours preparing for the said event. 

I won’t go into the details anymore, but between the emails, the sponsorship letters we had to write, the people we had to talk to, the parents’ meetings, the weekend and even weekday scrimmages, the uniforms we had to order, the travel plans, the accommodations, the gossips and attacks we were getting from envious people… well, there were just so many things going on that I couldn’t find the time to just sit down and compose something other than a marketing letter or a school excuse letter.  There just wasn’t enough time.  My creative juices were simply not flowing in the blogging direction.

See? I just went into the details when I said I wouldn’t.

But despite the work it entails, despite the jealous detractors that we know we have (there just are people who cannot be happy for the success of others), I simply love everything that’s happening.  I love my co-parents in the team, I love the support everyone’s been giving to each other.  I love the fact that though there’s no monetary compensation involved, the parents generously give of themselves — by sharing whatever talents, gifts or skills that they have.  They don’t tell the coaches what to do, but they support each player from the sidelines.  Nobody acts superior.  Not one player acts like he’s the star. 

We are a team. The players, the coaching staff, the parents and the rest of their families work together as one.  Because we have a common goal.  The goal of not just winning, but of making better people out of these 12 boys.

Don't just be good. Be GREAT.

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I have lots to share.  And I know after this major tournament, I will have lots MORE to share.  But for now, I know I have to focus on the tasks at hand. 

And yes, I also need to get some sleep. 

So I bid you bye for now.  Maybe I will pop up once in a while and share something I learned or experienced while watching the boys’ training.  Or maybe I can write about the fun that the parents are having — especially when they are making fun of each other.  But I’m not promising anything at this point.

I’ll miss my readers… as much as I have missed blogging.  But like I said, there are other things I have to prioritize.  Besides, blogging at 12:45 in the morning just isn’t healthy.

So I bid you adieu for now.  Maybe you’ll hear from me after July. 

But wherever you may be, can you please say a short prayer for our boys… for protection, for strength and perseverance,  for sportsmanship, for success… and most importantly, pray that they keep the joy in their hearts.  Win or lose.  

 À tout à l’heure.

Never.

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photos via weheartit.com

Facing Your Giants

 

Fearless

We are currently embarking on a big project for my son and his baseball teammates.  We were invited to a week-long, out of town tournament where the boys will be playing against ten teams from different places.  To say that it is a privilege to be invited will be an understatement.  This would be an experience that is good for the boys.  They will be playing as a team… and they will be playing as friends. 

However, since there is an age requirement and the games will not be until July, the more senior players will already move to the next bracket, thus, leaving the younger ones.  But given the fact that they have been playing together for the school for two or three years now they all know each other’s strengths and weaknesses.  You would think that the confidence will still be there despite the fact that some boys are already moving up.

Talking to the parents about the invitation elicited various reactions, though.  At first most of them were excited… REALLY excited.  They saw that this is a great opportunity for their kid.  It’s not just an interschool tournament… the kids will play against teams from other countries, even.  Some parents were just plain gung-ho.  They were very thankful that their son was given the chance to join the team.   They even offered to help in whatever way they can just to get the team there. Their first question was, “When’s the first practice?”

But then, there were parents whose first reaction was fear.  Followed by doubt.  Coupled with disbelief.   Fear: “What if the boys there are twice as big as our boys?”  Doubt: “We don’t want them to get clobbered.  It will be devastating.” Disbelief: “Are our boys good enough?  Maybe they should send more senior players… ours are mostly at the lower age of the bracket .”  (Goodness, the age level’s 11-12.  It’s either they are 11 OR 12.)

And so the strong team that we saw in the beginning started disappearing right before our eyes.  Mainly because there were parents who apparently didn’t see their kids as good enough to add value to the team.  What they focused on were the big players of the opposing teams.  Players they have not even seen yet. 

It is just plain sad.

~ * ~

Who's your Giant?

We all have giants to face at some point in our lives. 

Life is like one baseball game… we are all on the same playing field, but the players come in different shapes and sizes.  You don’t always know what or who you will be up against.  That’s why we equip ourselves… we train, we improve our skills, we build our confidence… we try to make ourselves better.   

We ready ourselves so that when time comes that we come face to face with ‘giants,’ we don’t cower in fear.  We slug it out. 

Sometimes we win, sometimes we lose.  But losing isn’t all that bad if we know that we fought ‘til the end and we gave it our best.  What’s sad is if we give up even before we try.  The game hasn’t begun, yet we have already succumbed to defeat. 

Yes, we don’t always win.  There are giants that are just too big and too powerful.  It is easier to give in to fear and self-doubt.  But then again, what about those times when we win over problems, issues or challenges that seemed bigger than us? What about those times when we made that extra step which led us to victory when all along we thought it was a hopeless situation?  What about those times when we believed in ourselves, our capabilities enough to prove that not every difficult situation is a hopeless one? 

~*~

Thinking about our baseball-parent-friends and their reasons for not wanting their children to join the team… reasons that are basically motivated by fear, I can’t help but feel sad and disappointed.  Here is an opportunity that practically fell on our hands… something that other children (and parents) would die for and could only hope for… But they are willing to let go of the opportunity because of fear.  Fear of losing.  Fear of having bigger opponents.  Fear of things not being easy. 

But then life ISN’T always easy. 

Yes, everyone’s entitled to his or her own opinion.  Maybe these parents don’t believe in the other boys enough.  Maybe they don’t believe in their kids enough.  Or maybe they just don’t see the value that this tournament will bring to their child.  I think for my part, I just have to learn to respect their decisions.  I also believe that maybe this is for the best.  We wouldn’t want to have someone in the team whose heart is not in it.  Maybe we are better off with other players who are willing to train, willing to fight, willing to face their giants.

Devastating loss?  I believe that if you give your best, there’s no such thing as a devastating loss.  You may not win the game– but the bonding, the team work, the memories… the over-all experience, these are reasons enough to make one feel victorious. 

Do you only win because you scored higher… or do you win because you lived the experience?

It is all a matter of perspective.

very well said...

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photos via weheartit.com

The #2 is MY #1

After the end of every school year, for the past six years, I have been going up the stage in school to accept and hang on my son’s neck a silver medal for academic achievement.  Out of more or less 400 students in his grade level, my son has consistently been Top 2.  The students getting the first and the third spots have changed several times, but The Son stood his ground. As one parent puts it, he has kept his throne.

As a hands on parent, maybe I should share in taking credit for his achievements.  I can always claim that without my help and guidance — and the tons of reviewers that i used to make (okay, honestly, I still make some up to  now) — without me giving encouragement and support, maybe he wouldn’t have been consistent.  Maybe my persistent nagging (how redundant is that!) does the work.  Maybe i can claim that he is doing well in school because i won’t let him do otherwise (translation: confiscate every single toy, book or whatever that normal boys make time for… or ground him for the rest of his student life!).

Honestly? I won’t take credit for my son’s achievements.  He has reached this far because he worked hard for it.  Yeah, maybe I give a little nudge every once in a while… maybe i do nag him, specially when time is of the essence… and yes, i still help review him come exam day.  But once he is in school he’s on his own.  He uses his own brains to understand things. He works hard to  perfect his activities and he relates to the teachers and peers in his own personal way.  It is all him.  I dare not take away his glory.

As a parent, the most i can do is to give the best guidance, support and encouragement as much as I can while he is young.  I just sow the seeds and he does the rest of the work.  He makes his mistakes and learns from them.  He makes decisions and face the consequences.  But sometimes, too, I can only watch and guide from afar.  Sometimes i can only pray that i guided him well enough to make good choices when he’s on his own.

So far, he is doing pretty well. 

This morning, I was the picture of a very proud (and beaming) mom.