To the Moms of the Little League World Series Champions,
Our family loves baseball. My husband played his entire youth and still plays men’s softball every chance he gets. Growing up, my mom was a bigger baseball fan than anyone I knew. By the time I was eighteen, I had been to at least a dozen Major League Baseball Games all over the country. Everywhere we went, if there was a baseball park, we were there. To this day, I hold dear the precious memories I have of visiting Wrigley Field, my personal favorite. When the Cubs won the World Series, I cried tears of joy for my loyal, life-long Cub fan momma.
So when the state of Louisiana made it to the Little League World Series… no wait. When a team from River Ridge, just a few miles down the highway, made it to the Little League World Series, needless to say our family about lost their minds. We were overwhelmed with excitement for such an incredible opportunity for these local boys, and as a mother, I was overwhelmed with emotion for their parents. In particular, their mommas.
As I stood in the kitchen one day, a couple weeks after the Championship game, I heard my seven-year-old son (he’s our baseball player) talking himself through an intense baseball game he was playing on my phone. He’s a die-hard Red Sox fan, but he wasn’t shouting about Dustin Pedroia or his favorite, the recently retired Big Papi. Nope. He was muttering to himself…
“and here he comes up to bat, he’s ready to hit the ball out of the park…annnnnd ladies and gentlemen…. it’s Reece Roussel with the home run! And. It’s. Outta. Here !!!!!”
“And next up to the plate, here comes Marshall Louque….”
On and on he went. Professional baseball players had no place in this line-up. We now had a collection of local heroes to dream big with. He was obsessed. We went to the parade, we made signs, we caught beads from Alton Shorts, we even tried to buy a shirt and hat off some people on the street! My boy is ALL IN with Team Southwest and I just cannot blame him one bit. As he should be!
You see, as we watched every game, his eyes were glued to the screen. As we sat in our living room watching the Championship game, he looked at me with wide-eyes and he said:
“These boys are really from New Orleans?” Yes…
“They really play on the same fields that I play on?” Yes…
“They are just a few years older than me?” Yes…
“So… I can play in the Little League World Series, too, one day?????”
YES, My son, YES!!!!!!!!!
His eyes glistened as the possibility of it all slowly and deeply sank in. My eyes glistened as the tears crept in. My excitement for him was great, my excitement for these boys was enormous, but my heart just kept going back to their mommas. My heart nearly explodes when my little guy hits a home-run or even a solid line-drive. I just don’t know how proud you must be when your child has worked his entire life and then made it to the Little League World Series. And then WON!?!?!?
MY HEART JUST CANNOT COMPREHEND THE JOY!!!
So hard-working baseball mommas, I say “Congratulations, you’ve done well!” Anyone could see that you sacrificed a lot, but I know you sacrificed more than anyone can begin to imagine. You sacrificed even more than those sweet boys know. When you allowed them to pursue their dreams, however, you gave them the gift of igniting dreams, not only within my own son but also within every boy and girl in the city of New Orleans, the state of Louisiana, and the entire Land of the Free, Home of the Brave.
You see, I know competitive baseball isn’t for every child or every family, but there are lessons and values that ran deep into the soul of every child watching that series. I don’t mind if my son never makes it to the Little League World Series. What I care about is that he knows thirteen kids did. Thirteen extraordinary kids did extraordinary things because they put their heart and soul into those things… AND because they had amazing mommas backing them up all the way (and dads, coaches, managers, friends and family).
So, thank you, Momma, thank you!
Thank you for raising hard-working boys that taught my children such valuable life lessons, in the absolute sweetest of ways! I am proud of them; I am proud of you.