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A recent girls night out was a much overdue outing among good friends that met over 10 years ago through baseball loving sons. The bond established on the bleachers overlooking a baseball field certainly ranks up there with dorm room friends and office friends who you often spend more time with than your own family.
Looking back, did we all really enthusiastically leave Atlanta and head off to Humble, Texas for our 10 year old sons to compete in a PONY regional championship? It wasn’t because any of us thought our child was the prodigy that was going to make it to “the bigs”, we just loved watching our boys play a game they loved, and quite simply we didn’t know any better. We were naïve enough to love the coaches, love the team as a whole, and love the adventure we were embarking on for one week of our eight week all star summer vacation. While my husband could still give you a play by play of each game, I remember more of our off field experiences; happy hour at the Country Inn and Suites on rained-out afternoons, entertaining little brothers at the local arcade, being perturbed that the fields were not up to our Buckhead standards, and watching the 10 year olds feel like big guys sharing rooms with their teammates and keeping their parents at a safe distance to enjoy their freedom.
From 10 year old ball, the boys eventually went in different directions; a few played another year or 2, some throughout high school, and a couple keeping the dream alive into college.
As we most recently shared stories of impressive summer internships, older siblings with real jobs and impending marriages, I hope our children will come to know the joy they brought to us and hold those memories as dear as their parents will.
As I was running the trails around Chastain Park last week I was pleasantly surprised to see a flock of sheep making their laps through the kudzu covered brush just across the street. I often complain about the grueling hills and impatient traffic I endure on my morning runs, so the sight of sheep happily munching along put a smile on my face. Be sure to stop by and see them before their job is done and they move on to other pastures.