Wednesday, May 25, 2011

T-ball and ticks

We New Englanders like to say that there are only two seasons here. Winter and summer. We were finally gifted a beautiful warm day on Saturday. Early summer.

The girls have finally embraced outdoor play for the first time this year. Up until the first communion party, we were having difficulty in keeping them outside to play. It was almost as if they didn't really know what to do and wanted to go back inside because that's what they were comfortable with.

Thankfully, they love playing with their new T-ball set and I'm going to go there and say that I'm impressed with Allie's hitting abilities. These pictures would have looked better if the background had been our fence, which was behind me, but I had to set up the girls to play facing the fence because Allie kept hitting the ball into the street. She hit one so hard and far that by the time I caught up to it (and I was running) it was two houses away.

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Notice how green and long our grass is. According to our local weather folks, we just experienced the rainiest spring season on record. (Stating a fact. I really can't complain with all those folks out there dealing with flooding and tornadoes.)

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As I was bathing the girls that night, I made sure to do a thorough tick check. One of my brothers contracted Lyme disease last summer and he never even knew that a tick had been on him. We've seen ticks in our yard (and our house!!) so I'm a bit paranoid with the girls. Rich found a tick on himself Monday morning. Ack! Those things freak me out.

It appears that children's organized sports are a bit different from when I was younger. I've been told by some other parents that for the younger kids (kindergarten and sometimes up to third grade) everyone is allowed to participate. For example, a kid who can't really hit the ball in T-ball or hits the ball and should have been tagged out is still allowed to run around the bases. And they don't keep score.

T-ball didn't exist when I was that young but I did play pee wee baseball and then softball for the town. They played by the rules (if you were tagged out, then you really were out) but the coaches allowed all the kids to play, even the ones that weren't very good. So everyone had a chance to bat during the game and everyone had a chance to play in the field, even if it was right field.

As with everything, there are arguments for both sides of how to play T-ball. On one end are the parents who believe in teaching kids that sometimes you lose or that you may not be good at certain things. Like playing sports. Maybe they feel that kids are being babied. If we let everyone "win" in T-ball, where does it end? Should you be allowed to pass a class just because you say that you tried? Is this what caused Generation X (or whatever generation we are up to now) and "kids" expecting jobs and promotions to be handed to them just because?

And then there are the parents who ask, "Shouldn't all kids be allowed to participate?" Doesn't this build up confidence? They are just kids after all. Is not like they are trying out for the Olympics or playing a professional sport. They are five and six years old!

I'm not exactly sure where I stand because I feel a bit biased. I have a daughter with a birth defect which prevents her from being an athlete. But what if she wants to play T-ball with her sisters next year on an organized team? She would never be able to run fast enough. Does that mean she should always be tagged out and have to go sit back on the bench? Do five and six year olds understand this?

Shouldn't it be about having fun? It is only T-ball after all.


4 comments:

Alice said...

those pictures are precious! looks like they play well together!

Marcia (123 blog) said...

My view is that up to a point we should go easy on kids - they are playing for fun. But at a point (and I don't know what that is - mine are only 22 months), then the real rules come into play because there are those good things to learn about being a graceful loser, etc (things I'm still learning at 36!)

GAMZu said...

I happen to like the street as the background. Photos can't always be staged. Sometimes you want to catch things as they happen, and not herd kids to a specific spot to photograph.
Also, you won't care if you remember the fence or wall, but you (and they) would enjoy looking back to see how their house and blocked looked at that time.

Just my point of view. :)

Rachel said...

I know this is really old, but in case it comes up in the future...

Some kids I used to sit for when I was a teeneager were on a little league team that included a boy with spina bifida who walked with leg braces and could not run but was an alright batter. When he got a hit, another kid would run the bases for him.