As a parent, you experience a lot of firsts: first tooth, first step, first word, and first time sleeping through the night.
Today, I got to experience another first: taking one of my children to their first organized sports practice. Ciera has never been interested in sports outside of playing baseball out in the front yard. Rakes has been BEGGING to play TBall since he was old enough to know what it was.
Down here in NC, however, you have to be 5 to play that sport: so when we told Rakes he could run around kicking a ball while at the same time getting as dirty as he wanted, he was all for it.
I could tell he was nervous on the way there: his stammering problem gets noticeably worse the more excited/nervous he gets. By the time we got to the practice field, he made Mel Tillis sound like a Julliard trained actor. Once he met "Doach Bendell" (Wendell for those not fluent in Rakesese), all was well.
Proud does not begin to describe my feelings: watching my little hooligan out there running around and yelling at the top of his lungs was a great thing to see. Out of the 10 kids on the team, he was head and shoulders better than the rest. 'Course, I'm his Dad, so I may be a TAD bit prejudiced.
After practice, the coach came up and said to me: "he's done this before, hasn't he?" After replying that no, he hasn't, he just loves anything to do with hitting, catching, throwing, or kicking a ball, Wendell commented that he didn't think it would take long for the boy to get the hang of things.
I don't know who had a bigger head the rest of the day: Rakes, who told anyone who would listen he did "beally good at doccer practice today", or his beaming Dad.
It's not baseball, but it's a pretty good start.