Time and Tide.

Last week, I found myself looking for an alternative to copious amounts of TV, Wii, and other “quiet time so Mommy and Daddy could work during the weeklong daycare shutdown” activities.

I stumbled upon Baseball Camp, which is run by our school district’s baseball coach. And lucky for me, they still had spots open.

I’d like to take credit for Owen’s baseball obsession – being a decent softball player myself – but unfortunately I can’t. He picked up baseball on his own; asking us from the moment we got him his first baseball glove if we’d play with him. Last summer I stopped pitching wiffle balls to him because he kept hitting me (which stings!).

So this year, we signed him up for tee ball, which was HEAVEN. Our kid, who hung back and never joined in for soccer and swim lessons, ran off willingly – happily, even! – to play baseball with complete strangers.

I figured he’d do fine at Baseball Camp. My biggest worry was that it would feed into his obsession and we’d never be able to do ANYTHING that didn’t have to do with baseball.

(Actually, no, that’s not true. My biggest worry was that he’d get stung by a bee and someone I didn’t know would have to administer his epipen.)

On Monday, we showed up at the Little League fields, paid our fee, handed over his labeled epipen, and filled out paperwork for the nurse that is onsite daily.

When the director blew his whistle, my not-so-little boy ran off to join the rest of the Big Boys for baseball camp.

Just like that, he was a Big Boy.

When I called my best friend on the way home, I couldn’t keep the tears from flowing.

___________________________

I am really excited about kindergarten this year, probably more excited than Owen is.

I have vivid memories of learning how to read. The day I realized there were words to read everywhere! was the most magical day of my life.

From that moment on, I read everything I could find: the cereal box. The toothpaste tube (seriously, the directions on the Crest tube of toothpaste? “Directions: Start from the bottom and squeeze as you go up.” WTF does that even MEAN? I puzzled over that for years). Mail. Magazines. My dad’s books. I took 6 books from the school library every week during library period. During the summer, I read even more books.

Even as an adult, reading is still magic. I don’t read as much as I’d like, nor can I push off sleep to finish a book the way I want to. But reading makes me happy.

And I can’t WAIT for Owen to be literate. To go to the library every week and take out more books, to read together every night books that have more words than pictures.

I think he’ll love it, too. Because he said to me, not too long ago: Mommy, I love books. Because they can teach you things you don’t know!

I cannot wait to see him learn his letters, put words together, and see his reaction when he realizes that there’s a whole new world that’s open to him.

___________________________

I didn’t expect to be so… emotional about that first dropoff at Baseball Camp.

But this summer I’ve seen him growing up – right in front of my eyes.

And one night, literally as he was falling asleep at a much-too-late bedtime, protesting, “but I’m not tired…!” I realized that all I see is Boy now. Not baby. Not toddler. Not even preschooler.

He’s my boy. Sometimes not so little, either.

Which is weird. Because seriously, wasn’t he just born yesterday? Where did 5 and a half years of my life go? How is it possible that he’s even OLD enough for baseball camp and reading and kindergarten and riding the bus?

When did that HAPPEN?

But time and tide, it seems, waits for no mother.

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6 Responses to Time and Tide.

  1. Delenn says:

    I love your description of learning to read! I felt that way too! I think I am also the excited/nervous one about school–and I have lately been looking at her in that new child light (not toddler/baby).

    I haven’t had her experience her first “camp” yet…but I am sure I will have that same pit of my stomach feeling that I am going to have seeing her off at kindergarten!

  2. Esperanza says:

    What a beautiful post. I am freaking out that my daughter is a preschooler. When I look at baby pictures of her I hardly recognize the fat chubby cheeks and toothless grin. I don’t see that baby in her anymore at all. It’s crazy how much bigger she has gotten, especially in the also six months. I can’t even imagine how big she’ll seem at 5 years old, going off to Kindergarten. That is crazy.

    I’m glad he like baseball camp! How fun that must have been for him.

  3. B says:

    He’s really growing up, and it sounds like he’s doing very well at it. Baseball, eh? We should look into doing something like that (as I’ve been saying for a year).

  4. Turia says:

    I am so glad he loved baseball camp. My mother was a teacher, so we never, ever, did any sort of summer camp (with the exception of I got to do a riding day camp for a week for two summers), and I always felt the other children got a much better deal. Now that I’m the Mum, of course I want to figure out a way to be home in the summer like my Mum was!

    Your description of reading and your excitement about Owen going to school put into words so beautifully exactly what I think too. I just said the other day on my birth club that I am actually really excited for E. to get bigger to see all the children’s literature that is out there for each age group. And I cannot wait for him to be able to read all the books that I loved as a child (and I’m hoping that maybe he’ll love some of them too, but who knows). But you’re right- I want so much for him to love books too.

    Time is truly truly flying.
    xoxo

  5. Such milestones for you both.

    I wanted H to learn to read so badly that I taught him myself. He already knew the alphabet and it’s sounds back and forth and was already associating each letter with the sound it made in a word, but not quite able to connect it together phonetically. His kindergarten didn’t *push* reading, much to my dismay, because I knew the world it would open up to him.

    So, I went to the library and checked out a Dick & Jane treasured stories compilation and night after night we read a story together in his bed. Oh, how I LOVED it. It was very frustrating to him at first because his brain was ahead of his tongue (if that makes sense), but we kept at it, making it fun, and, no shit, after about two weeks he was reading. Not just by sight but by sounding out words he’d never seen before.

    And, like you, now he reads EVERYTHING and loves his world of words. He has his own chapter books and it is AWESOME. He reads to his baby brother, he reads to his godmother, he happily reads.

    Reading is fundamental 🙂

    YAY for tee ball and kindergarten and all manner of seizing his world.

  6. catwoman73 says:

    Time really does pass far too quickly, doesn’t it? I have mixed feelings about the wee woman starting school in the fall. I think I will learn to enjoy my free time, but at first, I imagine I’ll feel just a little bit lost.

    I can’t wait for our daughter to learn to read! She has started printing her name, and understands that cat starts with the letter c… even those were exciting developments! It’s so amazing to watch them grow and change. 🙂

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