|Photo by Steve Bassignani|
You’ll buy her the best bat you can find, and then she will probably want a bucket of balls and a glove and some cleats too. (and maybe a bow)
When she realizes she cannot carry all these things with her own two hands, she will want a batbag – in her favorite colors of course.
Then, she will probably spend hours begging you to go out in the yard to play with her bat, glove and balls, even though you may want to sit on the couch and watch TV.
She will insist. And her insistence will win.
When you go out in the yard to hit and throw and pitch and catch, she will not want to go back in the house for dinner and she will swear that even at dusk there is enough light to continue playing.
Next, the backyard will get too small, and she will want to see how far she can hit a ball with her new bat wearing her new jersey, and she will want you to drive her to the softball field.
Once she gets to the softball field, she will get all dirty and she will be happy.
She will probably smile, giggle and laugh.
Once she’s all dirty, and enjoys the way dirt feels underneath her fingernails and in her hair, she will probably want to learn how to slide. In the rain, on a muddy field.
And when she slides in the rain, on a muddy field, and swings her bat and sees how far she can hit the ball, and finally learns how to catch – she will want friends to play this new game with.
Then you will get the girl a jersey… And when a girl gets a jersey, she will want pants and socks and a belt to go with it. And a TEAM….. And then life as you know it will end.
There will be no more lazy weekends watching TV.
You will see more sunrises than you ever thought possible.
Every spare minute of your time will be spent hauling buckets and bags and stinky cleats and giggling girls all over the place to play softball. You will get excited about new bows and new Softball t-shirts.
Your backyard will be transformed from a neatly mowed place to hang out on the weekends to an overgrown week speckled faux practice field complete with a bow-net.
And your house may be a mess. And your car may be dirty. All because you gave a girl a softball. Your weekends will be spent grueling it out on a fold up chair.
And her weekends will be spent gaining confidence and friends, and learning new skills and having fun and getting dirty. So dirty in fact that you will have to learn how to do laundry in a whole new way, like maybe at a carwash using the pressure washer.
Her smile will grow bigger and bigger. And each year she plays with that softball, she will get better and better. And her love for the game, and confidence in herself will grow right along with her jersey size. Then, She might try to be a pitcher or a catcher or outfielder or infielder. Because softball teaches her she can be anything she wants.
And you will be there the day she hits her first home run, or makes her first double play. And she will make you proud. So proud that you will get her ice cream, and her coach will give her a game ball. And right before your eyes, your little girl will be transformed into a softball playing beast, who set aside a Barbie doll one day long ago simply because you gave her a softball, and a bat, and glove and a batbag and jersey to go with it.
When you give a girl a softball, you give her more than just a ball. You give her a sport, and a talent, and hope, and dreams, and friends, a new family, a place to learn about life, room to grow as a person where she can push her limits, and bravery, and courage and LIFE, and memories.
And she will have ALL of these things, simply because you gave a girl a softball! Then one day, many years from today….she will be in her room and a softball will roll out from an old dusty batbag underneath her bed.
And she will pick it up and realize instantly that when you gave that girl a softball, you also gave her a childhood that she would never forget. And then she will hug you, and your eyes may leak – because you realize that everything YOU gave up along the way…..was worth it! All because you gave a girl a softball.
~Author unknown to me, forwarded by Steve Orff, Sean English