Friday, June 11, 2010

An All-Star Week

Gummy worms = 5 cents each
Gatorade = $2.00
Frito Boat with chili and nacho cheese = $2.50
Losing another 1.5 pounds this week = Priceless.

It seems like many of my blog posts have a bit of a baseball tie-in, primarily because I started my diet just about the time my son's baseball season started. So bear with me for another baseball-themed blog, but this one might be my favorite yet.

I volunteered for six hours, three different days this week in the canteen at the Benicia Little League baseball field. Why, you ask? Well, the truth is that the Whitty household's mandatory six-hours of volunteer service per child participating in the league fell between the cracks. This is due primarily to the fact that our 10-year-old son Will was "called up" from his Minor B Padres team to the Minor A Cardinals team early on in the season. We hadn't yet fufilled our canteen duties on the Padres team because our shifts hadn't come up yet at the point when he switched teams. And by the time he joined the Cardinals, they already had their canteen/snack parents schedule completed. So, in order to save the $75 we would have had to pay for not volunteering this season, I decided to be Benicia Little League's Volunteer of the Week, staffing the canteen at Maria Field three times.

The truth is, I've ALWAYS wanted to work in the canteen, but never needed to because, up until this season, my husband always fulfilled our volunteer hours by coaching. I have so many fond memories of playing softball when I was a kid and getting to go to the "snack shack" after the game to buy Fun Dip, a hot dog and a Dr. Pepper. In fact, the trip to the snack shack was as much of a highlight as the game itself. Truth be told, it actually may have been better than the actual game. So, it was honestly really fun to volunteer this week making young kids' days by counting out their gummy works, smothering their nachos with cheese, and grabbing their Gatorade.

Workin' it at the canteen

Don't get me wrong, I was nervous. Really nervous. I wasn't quite sure how I'd handle scooping up creamy nacho cheese and pouring it into the "small boat" filled with round tortilla chips. (The "small boat" is then placed inside a "big boat" to capture any overflowing cheese.) The truth is, with each serving of nachos I dipped up, it never got easier. Nachos have always been a weakness of mine. Nevertheless, I stuck to my guns and never once partook in anything more than a Diet RC Cola from the soda fountain.

As proud as I am of myself, there's another member of the family who has me beaming with pride -- our son Will. As I mentioned, Will was called up early in the season from the Minor B league Padres team to the Minor A league Cardinals. When it happened, he was beyond thrilled, but I was a little bit worried that he'd have trouble adjusting to a new team when the season had already begun. He has always been a more reserved, shy boy, and really, really sensitive. So when he struck out each time he was at bat for the first few games, I worried he'd get discouraged.

One of the things he mentioned to us when he was called up was that he wasn't as good as the other players and that would mean he wouldn't make the All-Star team like he did last year. My husband asked him if he'd rather play with a higher caliber of teammates, or be the best person on the team. Will agreed he'd rather be playing with a more competitive team.

So Will kept at it and kept at it until he began hitting in-field triples and doubles and quickly earned the nickname of "Will Power." Every time he goes to bat, you'll hear the parents in the stands chanting, "Will Power!" That's not to say he doesn't occasionally strike out. In fact, each time he does, it's hard for him to fight back the tears welling up in his eyes. We keep reminding him that in the big leagues, when a player gets one hit out of three times at bat, that is considered good.
 Will Power!

Will's team finished the regular season in 2nd place. They won their first two games in the single-elimination post season tournament, earning them the right to play in the championship game tomorrow night. (By the time you read this, it will actually be "today"...the game is Friday at 5:30 p.m.) The first place team lost their second game of the tournament, so the Cardinal's are going into tomorrow's game against the A's with the better record. We are very excited and encourage anyone who reads this and is in the area to come on down to Benicia's Community Park to root for the Cardinals!

And tonight, we had quite another surprise, aided in part by my volunteering in the canteen. When Peggy, the former bartender turned Canteen Coordinator, and I were cleaning up the outside table displaying ketchup, jalapeno peppers, mustard and other condiments, I noticed a group of parents and kids huddled around the bulletin board. Curious about what they were looking at, I walked over to see what all the interest was about. The players who were selected to the All-Star team in the varoius divisions in Benicia Little League were just freshly posted. I casually looked through the names, not thinking too much of it, when Will Whitty's name appeared as one of the four players selected from the Cardinals to play on the All-Star team. When I was sharing my excitement with Canteen Coordinator Peggy, one of the league's board members happened to hear me and asked who my son was. When I told him Will Whitty, he said, "Oh, sure, I know him. He was actually the only player who was called up from Minor Bs to make the All-Star team."

I was bursting at the seams (fortunately not due to my weight, now that I've lost 24 pounds so far, leaving me with 16 more to lose by my 40th birthday on August 15th). I couldn't wait to go home and tell him the exciting news! He is over-the-moon excited! After the news sank in a bit, I went into his room and sat down on the bed next to him and asked what he's learned through all of this. 

He said, "I learned that even if you're called up to the next league and you think the other players hit better than you and play better than you, you just have to keep on trying and practicing, and never lose hope."

Talk about priceless.

Until next week,

1 comment:

  1. Quite the willpower theme to this week's blog! Good job for resisting the nachos--you should reward yourself by making your own low-point version at home this weekend. Go Jen!