What makes a difference between one weekend to the next is what you remember. Once a moment is gone you don't get it back except in the form of a memory. Often memories get clouded over time, as one weekend, one moment, blends into another. But every so often a weekend, a moment, comes by where the memory will be sharpened by how it is/was perceived by other people around you when the moment is happening. A memory, when sharpened correctly, is like a useful tool to be used when needed. A tool for laughs, a tool for learning, a tool for life that you lend to your friends over a couple of drinks. However if it is sharpened by the wrong hands, the memory will, poke, nick and slice the mind.
This past weekend was about making memories. It didn't start out that way. It just was. Sometime making a memory is unintentional. They just become.
Maxfield made his first appearance, ever, on the mound as a pitcher in a baseball game. Max was throwing as expected for his first outing, a little all over the place. But this division of little league has rules set up so kids can develop as pitchers and batters. These rules allow for kids to throw all over the place and encourage batters to look for and swing at good pitches. I, being one of his coaches, tried to take a step back and watch as his father. I took a couple of videos and cheered him on. Out of the corner of my eye I could see something was off. It was clear the coaches from the other team were unaware, uncomfortable and unprepared for this situation. I switched back to coach mode and explained the rules. At that point it was falling on deaf ears. I argued the merits of the rules again but to no avail.
Max's first outing as pitcher was cut short. He was denied a deserved strike-out and was shorted throwing to two more batters. Max looked defeated and slightly embarrassed. He was not taken out due to poor pitching, he was removed because the other coaches were unprepared. But Max's friends and team mates don't know that. I hope this memory, which should have been a good one fades in the minds of Max and his friends. Otherwise it is a good moment gone to a bad memory.
Wyatt and Ander are buddies in kindergarten and are on the same baseball team. Ander's dad recently purchased a camper and invited us over to check it out. After a quick camper tour Ander's dad offered me a beer. We sat at a table in the back yard shooting the breeze as Wyatt and Ander played on a tree swing. I took a step out of dad mode and enjoyed the conversation while the kids played. Out of the corner of my I could see Ander spinning Wyatt in the swing. He kept spinning and spinning. He seemed like he was having fun but something was off. I switched back to dad mode and started to voice my concern but it was too late. Wyatt was not prepared for the situation and said he did not feel well. We helped him out of the swing.
After a minute or two Wyatt behaved as expected and started throwing up. The tomatoes he ate for a snack sputtered out one by one, a little all over the place. Wyatt looked defeated and slightly embarrassed. I hope this memory, which not a pleasant situation, turns into sharpened tool for Wyatt and his friend Ander to use in the future. Wyatt will learn not to spin. Ander can use it to to tell a funny story over a few drinks about how Wyatt threw-up in his back yard. A bad moment turns into a good memory.
Almost every night I ask my kids what were their favorite parts of the day. This gives me a chance to talk to them and learn from them. Sometimes their answer is one line. Other times the answers turn into discussions about the day.
Last night I asked the kids what was their favorite part of the weekened.
Maxfield took a few moments to think. He mentioned having a friend over on Saturday, going over a different friends house on Sunday and also that he participated in a run that morning. He did not mention baseball, which is good and possibly bad. I will wait to see how this memory forms.
Wyatt on the other hand, when I asked him his favorite part, without taking a breath said. "Barfing on Ander's yard."