Being a big Yankees fan, and an even bigger baseball fan, people kind of expect certain things from me. Like, for some reason, I am expected to make my kid play baseball. Because for some reason, they equate baseball fan to mean the same thing as "tyrant, semi-insane mother, who lives vicariously through her children."
Let me make something clear, my son loves baseball. He could spit out stats of every player on the Yankees, and a few others. He's followed Nick Swisher's career after pinstripes, and still says that Curtis Granderson is one of his favorite players. He sits through games with me, and watches with as much enthusiasm as I do. BUT... he just has no interest in playing the game. And that's okay.
It's not because he isn't good, or because he doesn't play sports well. The opposite is actually true. He's a switch hitter, and a really good infielder. He's also a damn good catcher. He's actually a really good all around athlete. I'm not saying that because he's my son. I mean, there is a serious sense of pride in that statement, but it is an observation made by his coaches. He's got serious skills. He's a good kid, too. He's an honor roll student, into acting, and reading, drawing and writing. He plays video games, and likes to play every sport, except baseball. I've accepted that. I can't exactly force him. He'll hate playing, and resent me for it. That's not to say that baseball isn't a big part of his life.
When Derek Jeter got hit 3,000, my little guy sat next me. That same season the Yankees hit the Grand Slam Trifecta game, Mariano Rivera broke the saves record, and Jorge Posada clinched the division. To him, that was the greatest baseball season he has ever witnessed. To be fair, he's only ever witnessed one World Series, back in 2009, so he doesn't know what it is like to be spoiled by a Dynasty team. And maybe he is better for it. Because he can take that one season... the season of great moments, and appreciate it in a way that we often forget. We've gotten so used to winning the World Series, that we take those great moments for granted, to an extent.
See, my son, when he goes to basketball on Saturday mornings, while he can be competitive, he's playing for a different reason. He's playing for those moments. The ones that makes memories, and friendships. The ones that make you smile. It's not about the win, although those are nice as well. It's about the experience. Playing a game with some of his best buds. We watch the season, a season like 2011, and consider it a failure because we didn't win the World Series, and maybe to some degree that can be true. But, there is absolutely no denying that it was still an incredible season for the team.
So, my kid doesn't play baseball. Maybe one day he'll decide to put his switching hitting skills to the test on the field. Right now, he is content to play basketball, and some football. But, he understands the heart of the game better than most adults I know, myself included. He understands that the journey can be so much more beautiful than the destination.