Monday, March 20, 2017

It happens every spring

Baseball season is almost here. I'm still giddy from the Cubs winning the World Series not five months ago, and another baseball campaign is just about upon us.

Ben still plays organized baseball and loves the sport, and it's a good sport for him: methodical, cerebral, and not fast-paced. He's an OK hitter (and he struggled for so long but persevered to get to OK) and is always enthusiastic.

Tonight, we got the baseball gear out and played catch for the first time. We had a gorgeous 70-degree evening to throw the ball around after dinner, still more than an hour removed from sunset. It felt so spring.

Ben graduated to Michael's old glove. I need to buy some glove oil, but it held up fine, and soon he was catching everything I threw to him.

We'll play catch again tomorrow. I will buy the new season of Strat-o-Matic baseball because no way can I not own the cards of the World Champion Cubs. I'll listen to games on my phone and iPad, and I may even pull out some old baseball cards to peruse. Spring is here. Play ball!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Pocatello 4

We got back from a weekend in Pocatello, Idaho, today. This is an annual trip for us -- our fourth -- for a little Catholic parish basketball tournament for fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders. Michael played in it for three years, and this is Ben's second. The trip is always fun, win or lose. Most of the kids who play in this tournament will never be more than rec basketball players, so this gives them a chance to travel, hang out with their teammates, and participate in what, for them, is a big event.

Alas, Ben's team went 0-4 for the weekend. The tourney is set up with fifth- and sixth-graders in one division, and his team is all fifth-graders -- and it seemed we played all sixth-grade teams. The kids played hard, though, and were close in three of the four games (going to overtime in one). The parents got to hang out as much as the kids. This tournament always seems to be on the first or second weekend of the NCAA Tournament, so it's hoops aplenty.

Next year will be our last Pocatello (and we may not even go if the state swim meet is back to being the same weekend; we lucked out this year). Our first was one fantastic -- even though Michael's team went 2-2, he played great, and it convinced us he was ready to play comp. But wow, it was three years ago already, serving as a sobering reminder how fast these past three years have gone. Two years ago I remember sitting in the hotel room working on a Saturday afternoon between games. Last year, I motored back on Saturday night so I could fly to a work event the next morning. Two years ago, Michael's team struggled because we only had five fifth-graders and a third-grader. Last year, Michael romped through some of the younger teams who couldn't match his height.

Milestones and memories. They happen, and before you know it, you're on to the next one.