I hate to say it's that time of year again, but it's that time of year again. Bleacher moms everywhere are waking up and groaning. Baseball practice has begun. My sons and I are now trying to remember how we fit transportation and practices into our schedule, along with relocating the gear and getting the washer and dryer back on a constant-use cycle. Kevin has diligently - and artfully - put new tape on the grip of his bat. He's gotten the regulatory haircut, so not a single hair touches his shirt collar. And I'm searching for my stadium blanket and thermos because Georgia never has cold weather until winter is almost over and scrimmage games fill the Saturday slots on the calendar.
Even though it's the beginning of another exciting season, it's a sad one for us. I only have one son left playing, so I'm a little sentimental. (Okay, really I'm doing a dance and saying "one down, one to go," but don't tell.) Every day that passes, I see that my sons are getting older (I, however, am not aging one bit) and will be out on their own in the world before I know it. And they, too, are witnessing a change taking place in their world - the struggling economy, a historic presidential election, a war that's hitting too close to home. A few years ago, I was fortunate to find a school book that explained civics by comparing it to baseball. And it worked, because anything baseball makes perfect sense to every member of our household. We'll be pulling the book back out since questions about how the government makes decisions are surfacing. It's an eye opener to hear my teens' views on what's taking place.
I enjoyed hearing two other teens this past week talk about their trip to the inauguration in Washington D.C. Junior high students Amanda Newsome and Falon Sellers had a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It was exciting to hear them talk during their trip as their horizons were broadened. Talk about a field trip! I was able to talk to Falon on the cell phone the afternoon after she witnessed the inaugural ceremony. No television camera could capture what she experienced by being there in person. And it was refreshing to hear her teen-aged thoughts instead of hearing a news media commentator. Watching those in the crowd around her changed her ideas of what she'd been taught and had read. If you missed it in last week's edition of The Mirror, I encourage you find it and read Falon's story in her own words. You can also read a different version on page 1A in this week's edition. Notice that their trip included a visit to the National's Baseball Park. Now that's my kind of field trip.