I taught you how to swing a bat in the side yard of Ellsworth Avenue. It was hard for you at first but you wouldn’t give up. Inspired, I turned you around putting your right shoulder forward and that's how we discovered you are a leftie batter. You were four years old. And you haven't stopped swinging for the last 12 years. Tonight, that changes.
Tonight, you play in your last baseball game. The decision to hang up your spikes is all yours and as much as it breaks my heart, I support you. You are ready even if I am not.
Before your final plate appearance, there are a few things I want you to know so that you can carry them with you around the bases one last time.
Liam, so much of how I learned to be your mom happened through the baseball diamond. Watching you play taught me who you are--and who you've become---as a person. You are determined, loyal, patient, smart, and respectful. Knowing this about you has helped me relate to you, guide you, and parent you. Baseball shaped so much of each of us.
Baseball was a gift to me; a gift of time with my son. Our relationship relied on so many of the moments that baseball gave us; driving (often lost), finding fields, watching warmups, taking batting practice, and sitting happily through long games and double-headers. Every one of your at-bats lifted my heart.
Baseball calmed me. With all the uncertainty and frenzy that so often defined our lives, we always had the rhythm and reliability of baseball. Two sides to an inning, three strikes make an out, and nine batters in the lineup. The syncopation and the pace were trustworthy. Like an old friend, I could always find you there.
Baseball brought me joy. When you were younger, while other kids were taking batting lessons with private coaches, you were in the tunnel with me, your mom, letting me pitch to you from behind an L-screen. You always made space for me. I had so much fun playing with you and I hope you did too.
Diamonds are formed under pressure and baseball dealt you its fair share. But you persevered. And now, on your own terms, in your own time, you gracefully part ways. I admire your conviction and your resolve.
Even after you stop playing, I will always carry with me the joy, the peace, and the pride I felt each time you took the field. They were among the best moments of motherhood. I am so grateful to you for sharing them with me.
Let's go, kid. I’ve loved to watch you play.