In the kitchen

Search This Blog

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


Much to our surprise and delight, our eldest daughter- the one who spent two entire years in petticoat dresses- played in her very first softball game Sunday.

Ella was delighted to wear her too-big uniform and create her own hair style which she explained to me in painstaking detail so I could replicate it.  I'm not sure she knew the tendency for elaborate braiding among softball players but if she had she would have been even happier in her selection of sports to play.

So basically what I'm saying is that it is all about the clothes, the hair and the friends. 

Ella, Kaylee and Kendall
Sandi's family came up early for some bright sunshine for a loooooong game of softball. For whatever reason in this league, the girls pitch to each other with the coach only stepping in to pitch if the 5 people have been walked. This starts over each inning and there are 6 innings which makes for a 3 hour ball game.

It was such a treat for Ella to feel so much love and support.  She was literally grinning from ear to ear.

The day before her game, after having had just two practices, she says to me, "There is only one problem, Mom.  I don't actually know how to play softball."  I realized they had practiced batting, catching, throwing and running the bases but the ingredients hadn't actually been put together in her head to form an actual game. 

I told her Sandi was the one to help her and, a few hours and a diagram later, Ella had all she wanted.  She said, "Okay, that's enough. I get it," before Sandi was halfway through. 

Some things you just have to get by doing it.

The twins step-dad, Billy, is the coach which is so comforting to Ella.  He has the girls rotating around postitions.  Much to our surprise, Ella came out of the dugout in the second inning as the catcher!

 What we learned as we watched is that there are several different degrees of readiness when you are eight years old, playing your first softball game that happens to be 3 hours long.

 Arms crossed in right field waiting for some action.
 There are also varying degrees of spectating...
 Kaylee had a turn as the catcher as well.
 And Kendall looks impossibly tiny and adorable up to bat.
I thought I might need to be medicated when Ella got up to bat. I was so nervous for her. She doesn't like to be the center of attention and she doesn't like to not be good at something. I didn't want her to strike out and feel badly.  She was being pitched to by a player, not a coach, and all she knows is to try to hit the ball.  So we are all yelling to her, "Wait for a good one!" and I'm thinking she has no idea what a good one looks like.  I told Sandi I wanted to yell to her not to swing because I knew her chances would be better at getting on base, but Sandi told me we couldn't teach her that so I kept my mouth shut.

 I focused instead on my desire to learn how to be an umpire and carry one of those nifty brushes in my back pocket to clean off the illustrious home plate.

But alas, her discerning eye served her well and, 4 balls later, she walked to base.  She was very comforted by the parents at first and third helping her along. 
Six innings and three hours later, we lost 14-16 and the girls had a blast.  Ella walked twice and both times made it around to home, the first time running from third straight to the dugout with us all yelling, "Touch home plate!!"  It was so much fun and I was beaming with pride for her.
When we headed to the car she said, "I got two home runs!!!"  Well......
Sandi asked her that afternoon to practice with her. Ella said, "It's okay. I know everything I need to know."  Sandi said, "But El, don't you want to understand the game a little so you know where to throw the ball and when to go where?" 
Ella replied:  "No, that's okay.  The coaches are out there and they can tell me where to go."
We're working on it.
The true hilarity of the situation is that Ella isn't convinced Sandi, depite her very successful softball career, is giving her the right advice.  She tends to discount what Sandi says.  So Sandi told her sister, Kristi, to comment to Ella about her batting stance (the one Sandi has taught her) because Ella wasn't sure is was right.  When Kristi complimented Ella on her stance, she said Ella smiled the biggest smile she'd ever seen.  Apparently her aunt knows what she is talking about, even if her mother does not.
Ella has a game scheduled for Thursday.  But she also has a book fair and literacy night at her school at the same time.  I told her we need to do the school stuff and skip the game.  She came to us at dinner the next night with a whole case about why she wanted to go to the game and how her school work could be sent home for us to see at home instead of in her classroom.  She said things like, "I really want to be at that game. I want to be with my team, especially if they win." 
This well thought out argument, the planning and consideration, the wanting to be with her team is really what it is all about.  This is what we want her to get: hard work, practice, determination, teamwork. 
And of course, the fun of being with your friends.
Good job Ella!!!  We are so proud of you!

1 comment:

Emilie said...

I love this. Go Ella! That last photo of the three of them is stunning!

Site Meter