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Thursday, June 03, 2004

Joy is...

...watching my Ry Guy play baseball on a beautiful June night. How is it that some children are so naturally athletic? Is it love of the game? Is it superior hand-eye coordination bestowed at birth? Is it pure drive or the drive to practice?

I'm not sure, but I think it's likely a combination of those things for Ryan. He loves sports—football, basketball and baseball—more than anything. His intensity and interest shifts with the seasons. Summer ball is in full swing. And right now, he's a commanding presence squatting behind home plate, leading his team of 11- and 12-year-olds. He appears so comfortable and confident that I can't help but swell with intense pride seeing him on the field. I know it's not easy for him, but he sure makes it look that way.

I will tire of baseball soon enough. We have three games in the next 36 hours. And once summer's heat and humidity are raging, I'll be searching for the shelter of any nearby sapling. But I keep reminding myself to forever store the memory of his tanned, boyish face with the big brown eyes and the wide toothy grin. And to remember fondly how he never wears anything but footy socks with his cleats, the way he pulls his baseball pants up to his knees (revealing his—for now—lily-white legs), his easy, jovial manner with his teammates and coaches ... and the peace sign he flashes his mom from second-base after hitting a line-drive double.

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