Thursday, March 21, 2013

A Lesson in the Cold

Brady had baseball practice tonight, even though it was freezing, and halfway into the practice it started raining. It was so cold that at one point I looked around and realized all the parents had gone to their cars in the parking lot. Cash and I were the only ones still watching.

After a while, Brady came over to the dugout, where Cash and I were standing and watching. He was in tears, his face and hands red and frozen. He wanted to go home.

"Brady, we can't just leave. Your teammates are out there practicing, and you're part of the team. I know it's tough, but keep moving, keep your hand in your pocket and try to be strong."

He began crying, asking me to please take him home.

I told him I would, but that he needed to go tell his coach he needed to go. He didn't want to, and kept talking and crying about being cold.

I wanted to take him home. I wanted to tell his coach he was crazy to keep practicing. I thought about how sometimes at work I don't agree with the decisions made by those above me.

I told Brady, "You have two options, Buddy. You can tell your coach that you're just too cold and sore and need to leave, or you can go back out there in the field and keep going."

He stood there a minute, then ran back out on the field. Soon it was Brady's turn to bat. He came in and hit several balls, even though I could tell it hurt his hands each time he connected.

A few minutes later, Coach said enough and ended practice.

I went up to Brady in the dugout and knelt down in front of him. I took his face in my hands and said, "Brady, I have never been more proud of you than I am right now. I know you hurt, and wanted to leave. I wanted to leave. But I am so proud that you went out there and kept working."

His red face broke into a big smile, and we raced to the car.

I love being a dad.