It’s a long title, I know. But today, I am truly grateful for so many things that it’s hard to count. Exceptionally odd is that nearly one year ago, I believed I had a terrible life and had nothing worth going for me. But I made a decision last November 7 to turn my will and my life over to the care of my God of my understanding and miracles have happened.I know because I have lived through them.
My latest miracle is my beautiful son. Only 9, he has dreams of being a major league baseball player. He has more knowledge of the game than an average boy and quite literally is outside playing with his younger brother any spare minute he has. When it’s raining, he is the sports announcer telling the viewers about the possibilities of the rain delay going on too long. He then tells his viewers miscellaneous statistics – I have no idea if they’re true nor do I care because he is amusing- while they hang out for the long-awaited first pitch.
He asked to tryout for a travel team so he could play more ball. We agreed to this since he has a desire. So yesterday he was up to bat in a tournament his team has no business being in other than some practice for next summer. The pitcher was laying on the heat and my boy was back in the batter’s box ready to take this guy on. I could tell by his stance that he was more than prepared to hit one of out the park. His head was in it.
But, that’s not what happened at all. The pitch screaming in at 50 mph hit my beautiful boy dead on in the mouth. His immediate scream told me I better breathe deeply because I had to be brave. His dad bounded onto the field (completely out of character for my normally cool, sit-back-and-let-the-coaches-do-their-thing-or-you’ll-embarrass-him husband) and rushed to see the damage.
Blood, tears, fright, chips of enamel – all products of my son’s face. Somehow (not really, through the grace of God), I was calm. Despite my rapidly beating heart, I was able to look my boy in the face and honestly tell him he was going to be just fine, that he was tough as nails and we would get through this thing together. After ice, ibuprofen and a quick assessment, we determined immediate care was not imminent. The first miracle had happened.
I took a quick walk out of his view to wipe away a couple of tears and to thank God for protecting him from serious harm and then I asked Him to please help me stay calm. Breathing better, I returned to my seat only to have several other parents offer advice on what I SHOULD be doing. Normally, I would have been irritated and agitated. Not yesterday. I thanked them for their insight and advice and simply stated that my husband and I would keep close watch and if need be take him to the ER. The second miracle happened. I hardly ever keep my cool when I feel other people are telling me how to parent.
After a half inning, to my surprise, my son stood up and told the coach he was ready to play! What??? Yep. He said, “I’m over it, Coach. I came to play.” Chipped teeth, swollen lip, baseball seam across his chin, my boy bopped on out to center field and made three pretty decent subsequent plays. The third miracle happened.
My faith faltered when it came time to bat; I have to be honest. In my mind I thought, “No way is the kid going to hang in the batter’s box. He’ll step out for sure.” I wouldn’t have blamed him either. He swung at the first pitch. Foul. Second pitch. Ball one. Third pitch. Crack! A short hit but contact on the bat nonetheless. He was out, but his story is one for the books. He was smiling; I could see the pride in his face that he was able to conquer his fear. The fourth miracle happened.
Our next trip out to the field, he pitched. Struck out two and the third grounded out. This from a team who is ranked second in our state. The fifth miracle happened.
I cannot begin to express the gratitude I have. First, I am so thankful that his injury is not worse. The dentist said today we have to watch for four weeks and recheck the roots on one tooth. At worst, he will have a root canal and a crown.
So what’s the lesson in all of this? God provides. I asked Him to protect my boy, and He did. Life isn’t perfect; we are going to get hurt. But what could have happened and what did happen are where my faith kicks in.
Even better than that is how this situation relates to my sobriety. My son’s actions taught me about recovery yesterday. He showed me that when we go out there and live the life that God intends, we are successful no matter what. Yes, we get knocked down. But we tend to our wounds whether they be physical, spiritual, mental or otherwise and we get back into the journey. We say yes to this life. We say, “Thy will be done” and we serve. And at the end of the day, we are champions. The scoreboard may not reflect a “w” but our hearts and our souls do if we choose to do the next right thing.
My sobriety hasn’t been easy; but when I can find inspiration and a parallel to my life in a baseball game and the actions of my nine year old, I would say something is going right.
Today, I am extremely grateful.