My First Baby: How understanding fastballs prepared me for an RBI in life
If you spend more than five minutes with me inevitably my affection for the New York Yankees will make its way into the conversation. As detailed in a previous post, the Yankees are the source of One Of The Greatest Loves Of My Life. My Granddaddy indoctrinated me to listening to baseball games on the radio just after my seventh birthday. Upon my college graduation, he divulged that he secretly hoped that one day I would pass on what we shared fishing, on a grassy bank, in upstate New York. It wasn’t that waking up glutinous worms from their dirt mound cradle was a particularly important thing to do. Baseball served a greater purpose in my story of origin.
Preparing to listen to Yankee games was just as exciting as going to them (Looking forward to attending game 190 this year). I knew that once we arrived, I was in for three hours of Granddaddy’s stories about how to plant pole beans, the difference between raising boys and girls, and my favorite-how to hit a fastball. For him, successfully hitting a fastball was all about adjustments. He stressed rhythm, getting your foot down and “staying short” to the baseball. The latter meaning do what’s necessary and don’t over do it. According to Granddaddy, there’s no need to swing for the fences when the velocity of the pitch will do most of the work. During those three hours I was the luckiest girl on the planet.
Although it hasn’t always been a perfect relationship, I’ve loved the Yankees just the same. I’ve never tried to hit a fastball. I was more of the runner/cheerleader type during my youth. Yet, making adjustments is a life lesson that has served me well. Especially as it relates to becoming a mom.
Analogous to Granddaddy’s do what’s necessary advice, being able to put your teammates in scoring position statistically has the greatest opportunity for success- and it’s all based on making adjustments. Meeting Philip the week he was granted full custody of Bink, his four-year-old son, was nothing short of a game changer-and far from perfect. Knowing how important his baby boy was to him, endeared me to the man even as he was a relative stranger. Figuring out how to exist in their lives as a single, childless, woman was the first adjustment. If our relationship was going to succeed, we had to do it as a team.
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