Saturday was Ryan's first game of the season. And to fully appreciate the day's events you must rewind to the beginning of last season. You see Ryan has Sensory Integration Dysfunction and we were not really sure how well he would do last year. His coordination left much to be desired, he was unable to run the bases without becoming extremely winded, and to top it off he has no peripheral vision in his right eye. But last year went well, he had trouble running, but he was having fun and was actually getting pretty good hitting the ball coach pitch.
This year it was no surprise that Ryan wanted to play T-ball again. And we were excited to find out that because of how their birthday's fell, Ryan and his cousin Braxton would be on the same team. The first practice went well on Thursday and we felt encouraged for Saturday's game. And Saturday, sitting in our folding chairs, Bobby and I watched our boy and were so proud of what we saw. Ryan was paying better attention to the coach's instructions, he was hitting the ball with some pretty good force, and he was running all of the bases with some speed... all without getting winded. Bobby held my hand and we talked about his improvements and I felt tears of pride start to well up... and all of this before we even get to the exciting part of the game.
Near the end of the second inning I decided to have a seat (I spent most of the first inning getting pictures of the boys and getting settled with the rest of our cheering section). I turned around to say something (very unimportant, I'm sure) to Maw Maw and Paw. And just that very second is when it happened. A batter from the other team hit a pop fly right towards Ryan. And by some miracle the ball fell right into his glove. Bobby leapt to his feet and started cheering so loudly that he actually strained his voice. Ryan stood there, slightly shocked at first and then beaming with pride himself.
Now I do not fool myself to think that this is some great sign of athletic prowess (Bobby may disagree). But to a skinny little boy who is always the slowest in a foot race and last to be picked on the playground, this type of moment means the world.
For his part in the game Ryan received the game ball. And be rest assured if he has not shown it to you already...he will. He is so proud of himself and so are Mom and Dad.
We love you man!!
And finally, there is a song that I have always loved. And despite the fact that Ryan was actually playing Short Stop and not Right Field, it reminds me so much of Ryan's great catch. So if you have an extra 3 minutes or so, listen to the words of this song...it always makes me smile. I also added a few pictures of Saturday's game to make it worth your while.