He was so happy that dad was coming home in six hours. If I had any idea that he was counting the hours, I would have told him sooner that daddy is staying over another night. His face fell when I broke the news and he silently slid into the front seat and stared out the window. Bummer! He had given up an opportunity to go to San Diego with his dad and sister to visit Aunt Edna. There would be a stay at a hotel since dad is there on business, a trip to Sea World and the San Diego County Fair. A tough trade off since all he gets to do is stay behind for a summer baseball tryout/conditioning camp which is going to eat up most of his summer. As we drove I told him we’d go out for dinner and a Jamba or ice cream and he was so not enthused…no way I’d be able to compete with Shamu and elephants (and daddy, these days!)
I know he’s not really looking forward to a day in the valley heat…he was wiped yesterday. This camp will increase the likelihood of him making the team in the fall on a super competitive high school baseball team; however, when it’s all said and done, will he have put in all this hard work and make the fall team? My boy tends to seek our approval big time. He loves when we’re happy and is ultra bummed when he knows he’s disappointed us. I’m careful not to take advantage of that and to redirect him, telling him that there’s only one approval he should be seeking and if he pleases God, I know he’ll make great decisions and then we’ll be pleased. As we approached the school, I said, “You know son, you don’t have to play baseball for me or dad; you don’t have to take piano, guitar or trumpet lessons for us either. Our responsibility as parents is to nurture the gifts that the Lord blesses you with by presenting opportunities for you to bloom in those gifts. If there is no desire on your part, well then it’s fruitless. If there is a desire, then it’s your responsibility to take advantage of any opportunities presented and work hard to excel.” His response: “thanks, Mom.” I asked him once again, “Do you want to play baseball this summer.” “Yes!”
I knew the answer before I posed the question. If he didn’t want to play, no way would he have allowed his dad to pull out of the driveway without him in that car; no way would he have had such an upbeat and pleasant attitude yesterday and again today. Life is about choices and he’s getting a little taste of what it’s like to forego pleasure for work. I’m praying that his time on the field and in the weight room will be fruitful, filled with great laughs with new friends and opportunities to create awesome memories. I’m especially praying that he won’t regret his decision to sweat away his summer.
Before he got out of the car, I laid my hands on him and prayed protection over him; I prayed for favor with man and strength to endure; I also prayed that if it’s God’s will, he would make that stinkin’ team! I watched as my boy walked away carrying his frozen waters and dragging his heavy bag and I sighed!!!