Welcome to the Wandering Drays!
Not all who wander are lost...
Welcome to my blog dedicated to my family and our crazy foreign service life. Never content with staying in one place, we are excited to share our journey. We've survived two unaccompanied tour (Baghdad 2010-2011 and Baghdad again in 2015-2016), multiple TDYs, and enjoyed a two-year family assignment in Cairo, Egypt. The fab hubby is currently learning Turkish for our next assignment...Istanbul, Turkey! We leave for Turkey sometime in summer 2017. I write about what I know. Which is mainly kids, tween drama, gross pets, dealing with lots of government info, our moving adventures, being a nurse, yoga, running, living on too-little sleep, and an addiction to coffee lattes. I hope you'll enjoy this glimpse into our lives.
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Growth and Baseball
This is the last summer for the kids that will be what they "know." After this summer, life is going to be dramatically different. This is the summer where they open the front door every morning and hop on their bikes and ride down the street to the friends' houses they've known for years. We lived here long before the year we spent in Los Angeles, and returned home to friends and a school that they knew when that year was over. Truly, Los Angeles probably felt more like a vacation to them than a year away. Although Owen told me yesterday he really felt like Los Angeles was more his 'home' since he loves the sun and the ocean and the outdoors and the Dodgers so much. I had to giggle, because I've always said Los Angeles always felt more like 'home' to me since I love the sun and the ocean and the outdoors and an overabundance of Starbucks so much. I really miss the on-every-corner Starbucks.
And Baseball. Yes, baseball. Before May, Owen didn't even know the rules to baseball. He's 8 years old and we've moved two of the last three years - each time in the Spring during baseball season. This year was his last chance to learn to play before it would become (sadly) more competitive and difficult to get into. He wanted to play so badly! I didn't know if I'd be able to get him to the practices and the games, but my fab in-laws helped out all season, as did the parents of one of Owen's best buds. Plus, the ball fields are only 1/2 mile down the road, near the park, and he was able to ride his bike there for practice. Backpack filled with his glove, hat, a snack, and a bottled water. It was pure Americana. A little slice of what life should be.
I'm not going to lie and say it was easy for him. We're not a sports-oriented family and he's never watched games on TV. He likes the Dodgers mostly because they're from L.A. He struggled to learn the rules and had difficulty batting. But every day he'd put on that backpack and head to the fields with a "Goodbye, Mom! See ya after practice!" The games started and he was in the outfield, doing his best to pay attention but still having trouble keeping up with what was going on. He got up to bat and struck out, and then again, and again. It was heartbreaking watching him struggle, but profound watching him grow and mature and pull himself up and try it again. All the parents watched him and cheered for him each time he got up to bat. His buddies patted him on the back and told him he'd get it.
And then, his practice starting paying off. He got pulled infield to play catcher, and loved it. He'd call out plays as the team threw out runners at first base. He got up to bat and hit a single. He got up to bat and hit again. He'd strike out another time but get out there the next and hit. He was so proud one night when he had two RBIs and made it to home base himself.
But no matter what, he loved the game. And he was excited to be part of the team. On Sunday night I had to tell him that I couldn't take him to his game on Monday since I had to work. He was so upset! He said "MOM! I'm the CATCHER! The team has to have their catcher! I can't let them down." Thankfully, our friends were able to help out and got him to the game. It was the first time he'd played a team sport and really 'got it' about what it means to be a part of the team.
Last night was his team's last game. They were tied 7-7 in the last inning. If they'd won, they would have gone on to the championship games. Sadly, the other team batted in a run, winning the game and eliminating Owen's team from progressing to the final games. Heartbreaking. But they'd had a great season, and we managed to celebrate - DQ style (DQ in McDonald sponsored the team) with ice cream of course.
The team enjoyed their success today, participating in our town's 4th of July Festival parade. It was the last thing they'd get to do as a team together this summer. Owen had quite the roller coaster of night, enjoying the parade but barfing in a friend's car when he didn't feel well. (Sorry, Dave.) Too much candy? Honest-to-goodness sick? We'll never know, because I gave him some 'tummy medicine' (I always keep anti-puke medicine on hand) and tucked him in bed. As I kissed his suntanned cheek and ruffed his sandy brown hair, I realized he's grown quite a bit this summer already. Maybe not so much in height, but certainly in maturity. I look forward to seeing the person he will become. Who knew that baseball would bring such great qualities out in him?