Parenting and Pitching

February 29, 2012

Getting this in before the storms arrive and knock out my internet for the evening….

I’m thinking about parenting today, about the different things it throws at us from day to day.  And that’s the right analogy for this time of year, when baseball training camps are opening in Florida and Arizona:

Parenting is one kick-ass pitcher.  It throws blazing fastballs, confounding curveballs, and unhittable sliders.  It lulls us into comfortable oblivion and then rocks us back on our heels with high heat.  And just when we think we’ve got it all figured out, it shows us something new, a pitch we never even imagined it could throw.  Every now and then, we get it right — a solid single to left, a double up the gap.  On really special days we manage to hit one out of the park.  But mistakes come more frequently than successes, and once in a while we get drilled right in the ribs.

My kids are doing fine right now.  Really.  I don’t think I’m behind in the count, but I don’t necessarily feel like I’m ahead, either.  And the thing about this pitcher is that he never lets you get comfortable.  He always finds a way to keep you just a bit off balance, as any formidable pitcher will.

The truth is, I love being a parent.  Totally, without qualification.  But it is hard.  I often talk about how hard it is to write, but writing is easy next to parenting.  And every day Nancy and I face issues we hadn’t anticipated.  That’s okay, though.  It’s part of the game.

I step in again, set my feet, pinwheel the bat, my grip relaxed but firm.  I’ve been handcuffed before, but I’ve taken this guy deep, too.  I can do this.  Just wait for the pitch…

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