After a Hitting Lesson with a Nine-Year-Old

I just finished a batting lesson with my little nine-year-old. She hit all line drives: softball after softball hammered straight back to the opposite end of the sixty-foot batting cage. I could cry I’m so proud. It’s days like this that make it all worth it–after six buckets of worn softballs, after frustration, smacking of the bat against gym shoes, wiping sweat off of her porcelain doll face–it’s the success coming out from the struggle, the proof of how amazing practice and faith can be.

Somehow this all affects me, as if I’m the one in there, wiping my torn batting gloves against my athletic shorts, closing my eyes then refocusing at the target at the end of the batting tunnel.

I swell with pride as I hand her over to her father, red-faced and confident. I made a difference, maybe only for that hour lesson, or maybe for the next few days or at-bats to come. But here, now, she is on top of the world. And as I part ways, walking through the parking lot and away from those humid, sweaty batting cages, I see so much of her in myself. And I long to trade places, go back to those days where an hour batting lesson could somehow magically change your entire life.

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