Last night I spent a couple of hours throwing about 150 lob pitches to six year olds. Yes, my youngest daughter is a tee-ball...oops, sorry B...a BASEBALL player. At this age, the coaches do the pitching which means lobbing a baseball into a one square foot strike zone at about 1.5 miles per hour from about 25 feet away.
Now, some of these kids have an idea as to how to hit, they make decent contact and sometimes even hit it in the air to the outfield. But the first year kids like my daughter are still trying to figure it out.
Now, when B. first started swinging at live pitching, she swung from her toes and when she made contact the ball really flew. But over the past couple of weeks her confindence has fallen, with her sinking batting average, to the point where she is barely swinging in a desperate attempt to make contact. That is until last night.
In the final inning she got to the plate and I guess decided, "What the heck, go down swinging." On her third pitch she hit a hot two hopper to shortstop, drove in a run and beat out the throw.
I don't know who was happier, me or her. Just like Steve Martin in Parenthood I found myself laying on the ground with my kid in my arms, both of us smiling from ear to ear like we'd just won the World Series.
I've been a part of winning presidential and local elections. I've shaken the leader of the free-world's hand and accepted his thanks for all of my hard work. I even helped shape and design Census 2000, the United States' largest peacetime mobilization.
Last night was better.