Friday, July 19, 2013

My First Game

When my little one was eight or nine months old, he suddenly started waking up in the middle of the night.  After a few months of finally sleeping through the night, this was a very unwelcome change.  I was just starting to feel like a normal human being again and I was desperate to find a solution.  I rocked him, nursed him, sang to him and read to him.  He loved it all, at least until I laid him back in his crib.  The screaming would start and my anxiety escalated.  I went to my husband for help.  

We decided to take turns so that I didn't go back to the sleep deprived lunatic I was before.  The first night he got up, he had similar results.  But instead of continuing to push the sleeping, he decided to go downstairs to watch ESPN.  If he had to be awake, he might as well enjoy it, right?  Instantly, our little one would relax in his arms.  After a few short minutes, my husband would take him upstairs and he would go back to sleep without any fuss.

Even now, he loves the sounds of any game on TV.  He will freeze when the SportsCenter anthem begins and turn his attention to the action on screen.  He is constantly carrying a bat, ball, golf club or anything else he can find to swing or throw.  We decided it was time to take him to see the real thing.

My husband organized a big group of family and friends to join us and we headed up to Tampa for the Rays game.  My little one asked me, "Hit?"  I answered, "Yes, they will hit the ball with their bats at the game."  "Swing, Yeah!!" he said, mimicking the crowd cheering for a great hit.  "Will you cheer for the Rays today?" I asked him.  "Yes," he said, suddenly serious.

And he kept his promise.  He jumped up and down and clapped with the crowd as the Rays made good plays.  He was absolutely entranced by the action on the field (except when the cotton candy guy showed up).  About halfway through the game, my husband gave him a baseball mitt.  This was a piece of sports equipment he had never had and he was in love.  He wore it throughout the rest of the game and cried when my mom had to take it off for a moment to buckle him in his car seat.  As I carried my tired baby up the stairs for bed, he asked, "Mama, mitt.  On.  Night Night?"  How could I say no?  I tucked him in, mitt and all.  I kissed his head and thought about how much has changed since he was that tiny baby watching SportsCenter on the couch.  He is really and truly getting his own interests and his own mind.  He is no longer a baby, but a little boy.  I am so blessed to be a part of this transformation.

How do your children show you that they have entered a new stage?  Have some things always interested them?

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