Baseball makes everybody a little nutty at my house. What else would cause a grown man to sport a Mohawk and then convince his young son to do the same? What mother and wife in her right mind would allow it? Heck, I even took the razor to ‘em myself!
We’ve been Tampa Bay Rays fans for years. And if you know a thing or two about the Rays, that’s not been an easy task. A couple of years ago, we went to 12 straight home games without seeing them win! Twelve!
Conversation during twelfth loss:
Me: Remind me. Why do we come here again?
Mike (husband): It is good family time.
Me: Well, let’s start saving the 50 bucks and bond at home.
Usually, fans jeer the opposing team’s players. We got so bad that our fans (all six of them) began jeering our own.
My son, however, never said a discouraging word about them. He always had hope. Always thought next time they’d win. After a particularly embarrassing loss, however, he finally cracked.
As we walked out into the dark parking lot, my little baseball boy, decked from head to toe in Rays gear and clutching his baseball glove, looked at the ground and shook his head.
Micah: Daddy, it’s really hard to be a Rays fan.
But the next game he kept right on believing.
Then, last year, something amazingly unexpected happened.
They started winning. Gasp. A lot. After years of disappointment, discouragement and heartbreak, we watched them break out and tear a path to the playoffs. Even longtime baseball watchers were amazed at their speedy rise to the top.
Before I knew it, my boys were sporting a couple of “Rayhawks” and heading to the World Series.
In parenting, just like in baseball, it sometimes seems like all struggle and no payoff. But I find it helpful to remember that the present isn’t necessarily a good predictor of the future. A couple of years ago, it was difficult to envision last year’s amazing Rays run.
My job is to be like Micah -- always believing, always hoping, always expecting the best.
Whatever battles I may be fighting today, a World Series run might be just around the corner.
Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. I Corinthians 13:7 (New Living Translation)