Mario had his first tee-ball practice this afternoon. He was ecstatic. He has been dreaming of this practice for weeks.
Jon, Maria, Maggie and I all attended his first practice, and he loved us being there. He would flag us down and yell “watch me!” He started out throwing the ball with a friend and trying to catch the ball (tennis ball, thank goodness) with his glove. Then he moved onto the batting practice. He had to swing at the ball from a plastic tee. He cranked that part of the practice connecting with the ball each time. His partner was not such a quick study and whiffed the ball. Mario decided to put on his coaching hat and help him out. He approached the boy and asked to see his bat. He then got into position and showed him how to hold the bat and then how to swing. The boy took the bat back and swung to hit the ball. He connected, and Mario stood behind me nodding his head up and down in coach pride. It was hilariously sweet.
Next, he fielded grounders in the in-field. He did about as poorly as the other kids – we definitely need to work on catching with a glove. But he loved it. He kept wanting another grounder when he missed his but he soon learned the rules of practice – everyone gets a turn. Finally, they had to run laps around the bases. Mario loved this exercise, too. He tried to get to the front of the line each time they ran around, and on the last round, he asked if he could go one more time. What a munch.
Maria sat with a girlfriend who had brought her six-month old twins to practice. She played with one twin while my girlfriend held the other. She loves to watch babies – she picks hanging with the moms over her own friends. She is our old soul. But when she saw Mario rounding the bases, she quickly leapt up and ran over to third base to root him on with us. She yelled “go Mario – you are so fast” as he rounded the base. She stuck her arm out to deliver a high-five and he proudly slapped it as he whizzed by us.