Jill Gushow is the mother of a Little Leaguer® in the Fraternal Northwest Little League in Midland, Mich.
Well, there it is—the last game of Little League®. We came up just a few runs short in the District Championship. Fortunately, there will be more baseball. There's still travel ball and Junior League next year, but nothing is quite like Little League®, is it?
It’s almost agonizing to watch during the first seasons--very few of the kids could catch the ball and no one could throw strikes. Little boys (and sometimes girls) would run over for a parent to unbuckle their belt before dashing to the bathroom. There were delays in the game due to a tooth falling out. There were tears after a strike out, dandelions in the outfield, and lots and lots of tomfoolery (and seeds!) in the dugout. But almost imperceptibly, these little boys have turned into really, really good ball players and fine young men. And wow, can they hit the tar out of the ball now! Those little kids who were once hitting off the tee are now hitting dingers. Imagine that!
Oh my gosh, when I think of how many games of catch we've had in the almost-dark yard…the wiffleball games with teammates after a three-hour practice...and how snowy early-season games then turned into hot summer weekend tournaments. I can't believe Little League® is coming to an end.
Fraternal All Stars.
Thank you Little League®. Thank you volunteer coaches, scorekeepers, field keepers, fence painters and weed pullers. Thank you to our neighbors who knew our grass would remain uncut until the season finishes and yet still donate money during the annual door to door fundraiser.
So here's to these boys of summer! Here's to the families that have given up their precious weekends to spend days and evenings at the ballfield! And we loved it.
Of course they can't realize it now, but undoubtedly the boys will look back at these days as being some of the best. So will we.