I am raising three very different boys. All 3 born to the same set of parents. All raised with the same rules and beliefs. All 3 attend the same school and church. All 3 are surrounded by the same people.
And all 3 are as different as can be.
They have different likes and dislikes. Different temperaments. They show love in different ways. They have different strengths and weaknesses. Their differences fascinate me. I could write for days about their differences, but I won't do that right now. I am only pointing out their differences on the baseball field.
All three boys like to play sports and are a part of practically every sport team offered in our area. This is one way that they are all similar. It's just how we roll. Baseball is the sport we are playing right now. Tucker is on the high school team and plays short stop and third base. Sawyer plays "kid pitch" this year and is both a pitcher and short stop. Carter has moved out of t-ball this year and is playing "coach pitch".
On the field, the boys all approach the game of baseball so differently.
Tucker is a thinker on the field. He excels at the sport because before the ball is ever pitched, he has already thought through every possible scenario for what he should do with the ball. When the ball is hit to him, he fields it clean and without hesitation. He makes the play at the perfect spot with impeccable timing. His brains help him shine on the field. If he ever makes a mistake, Tucker is very hard on himself and very unforgiving. He takes losses personally.
Sawyer is a natural. He steps out on the field and doesn't even have to think about what to do. His moves are fluid and seem absolutely effortless. Without even thinking, he makes the play at the correct base. He has a natural instinct for the game. If his team loses, he generally breaks down and is very upset. He hates to lose more than he loves to win. Sawyer's competitive nature keeps him at the top of his game at all times.
And then .... there is Carter.
Carter just simply loves life. He is content with whatever the outcome of the game. He is more often seen smiling at the crowd than he is watching the ball. He thinks that his team does awesome at every single game, even if they stink it up. He has all the self confidence in the world and proudly proclaims that he is a great baseball player. He does not have a competitive bone in his body and is perfectly happy....win or lose.
Carter loves to play sports, but I always wonder if it isn't the social aspect of it that he enjoys the most. Upon announcement of practice time, the other two boys generally cheer and race to grab their gear. They are disappointed from a rain out and totally bummed on "no practice days". Carter is indifferent. He is just as happy at home as he is at practice. He seems to like wherever he happens to be at the time the best. He has never been passionate about any sport like the other two are.
Well, never UNTIL......
....He was assigned the position of catcher this year.
Oh. My. Stars.
This kid is obsessed with his catcher's gear.
He played catcher two years ago in t-ball. Basically because I was the coach and no one else wanted to play back there. So, I stuck my own kid back there. I know. I'm a great Mom.
Anyway, he liked it back there. So, this year his coach asked the team if anyone was interested in playing catcher. His hand shot up. He was pumped to have been given back his favorite spot.
After his first practice, Carter informed us that we would have to buy him a cup. He said, "I need a cup to play catcher. Girls don't have to wear 'em, but I do. Can you go buy me one?"
So we did.
And when we got in the car from buying it, he shouted....
"I can't WAIT to try on my cup!"
We all laughed at him, but then realized he was dead serious.
After we bought it, he 'practiced' wearing the cup many times.
He wore it around the house, out on the trampoline, playing in the back yard, and even watching TV.
He told us that real catchers wore their cups and he needed to get used to it. He needed lots of practice wearing his cup.
The first few nights he even wanted to sleep in it. After I shut that suggestion down, he settled for sleeping in the sliding shorts that the cup slides down into and putting the cup on his bedside table.
At the time, the cup was the only real catching equipment he had.
A few days later, we bought the whole shebang. The complete set of catching gear.
You would have thought we handed Carter a set of tickets to Disney World.
Seriously. He went bonkers over it.
We just thought he was obsessed with the cup. Getting the whole set of gear brought his obsession to a whole new level.
So now, Carter is just as passionate about baseball as his brothers are. Although it's more about the gear than the game, we are gonna roll with it.
So now, when the umpire asks the coach before the game..
"Is your catcher properly equipped?"
Carter's coach can answer "Yes" with the utmost certainty.