They warn you about not getting any sleep, and colic, and the terrible twos.
They warn you about potty training, and the dreaded first day of Kindergarten, when you feel like your heart will pack up and run away forever.
They warn you about the teenage years and the arguments, and the heartbreak (theirs that eventually leads to yours).
They warn you about getting into college writing all those essays, keeping up that GPA, and SAT and ACT scores.
Those things are all fine and dandy and I can safely say we have navigated those waters successfully.
But what they fail to warn you about, especially when you have a boy, is that dreaded last at bat.
Baseball is something that Andrew has done since he was 5. Baseball is something that has been a MAJOR part of my life for 12 years.
There is nothing in his life that he has done longer.
As I sat on Wednesday night watching his last game so many memories filled my mind, and thus the tears started to fill my eyes.
As I watched him pitch a complete game against the number one team in his division and hold them to two runs I remembered the first time he pitched in high school and walked the first 8 batters and got taken out and seeing him sitting on the bench.
I remember car rides full of endless chatter when the game was won, and silence when the game was lost.
I remember all star games, opening day ceremonies, picture day, team parties, and traveling teams.
I remember getting to the field early so that I could have the shady spot on hot days and the sunny spot on cold days.
As I watched him turn an amazing backhanded double play ball I remember the fear I felt when he took the field as a 3rd baseman on his many tournament teams, just hoping and praying the ball wasn't hit to him.
As I watched him come up to bat I remembered his first time at bat when he played t-ball, hoping that he would know which way to run.
I remembered the day that my whole family from Iowa came to see him play and he hit a walk off grand slam home run to win the game.
As the game ended and they teammates gathered around the seniors I secretly wished for the days when the end of the game meant watching both teams of happy little boys run off to the snack bar to get their slushys not caring who won the game.
I thought about stinky ball bags in the car, soaking and bleaching pants, and the occasional cup lying around the house.
I thought about mean coaches, loving coaches, and reminding him that he can learn anything from anyone even if it means learning what not to do.
As I watched that last at bat I was thankful. I was thankful for all that he learned from baseball, and for those precious memories that will live with me forever even if right now they bring tears to my eyes.
As I unpacked my baseball bag and put away my stadium chairs, score book, and pencil. I was thankful for having a son who believes that you can accomplish great things with hard work and effort.
The University of Arizona is lucky to have Andrew as a future Wildcat. And maybe, just maybe, we might see another at bat in his future.
- A Ro