My son had his first All-Stars game on Saturday against a host team from Smithville.
All day, he was excited about the tournament. He thought about how it would be if his team won and continued in the tournament. He did, however, remind himself that if they lost they still had another game to play. So, he prepared himself for the loss.
We arrived in Smithville early enough to catch a game his friend was playing. The game was tied and the coaches and players were infused with emotions and feelings. In fact, the stress and anxiety could be felt everywhere, and it was obvious this had an effect on the boys.
The home team surprised our boys in the first and second inning. Once our boys got the jitters out, they stopped the home team from over dominating.
Our team finally got some runs in the third inning, but were unable to catch up to win the game. The home team won 12 to 6.
Although my son was unable to score runs, he did play great as second baseman. He did catch a pop fly on the first pitch of the game--stunning the home team. He also did tag a few runners advancing to second. But the frustration of the game got the best of him. He became discouraged and angry that his coach had to bench him the last inning of the game.
When the coach saw him crying, he rushed over to talk to him. I quietly listened to him tell my son that he was a great player and that this was only a game. He jokingly asked, "Is there something I don't know? Are you getting paid to play? If you aren't getting paid to play, then you shouldn't be upset. This is suppose to be for fun, son."
The game ended, and the tears spread like a virus. All the boys were upset at their loss.
The first fifteen minutes of our drive back home was rough. Our son was in the back in tears telling us how awful he played. We tried to tell him that he played great as second baseman. After many attempts to resolve his dissatisfaction, we stopped talking.
I decided to stop at Buc-ee's, the big convenience store outside Bastrop. When we walked in, my son's troubles were resolved. He even got to see his team mates--perhaps there for the same reasons.
Our next forty-five minutes in the car was quiet; and eventually, our all-star son fell asleep.
To be continued.