I talked to my wonderfully sarcastic fifteen year old son Ryno yesterday, and he asked me a question that caught me off guard.
“Dad? Can you me give me a crash course in baseball?”
I said, “Um…well sure, buddy. Why?”
“Our school is going to have a baseball team this year, and I want to play on it.”, he responded.
I reminded him that he hadn’t played baseball since he was eight or nine and many kids at the High School level have been playing all of their life and are pretty good.
He told me that he understood that, but I could work with him on the game in general and his hitting specifically.
I then said to him…
“You know pal, some pitchers in High School can bring it at 90 miles per hour.”
Ryan said to me…
“I know, but I figure you can take me to the batting cages and help me to hit in the 85 mph cage which amazingly you in your advanced years can still do.”
“Well honey if that’s what you want me to do I will, but I just want to let you know that there’s a huge learning curve and change between playing when you were eight and now playing against kids who have been playing eight to ten years longer than you have.”
“Dad, I know, but I don’t care how bad I play. You see…Our school doesn’t have enough players to field a team if I don’t play. They need me.”
After that response, I told him that I would do whatever he needed me to do. After all, he was doing whatever the school and his friends needed him to do.
Ryno playing High School baseball is just like him volunteering to be the mascot for varsity basketball games after he has played his own JV game because no one else would.
It’s the same thing as when he volunteers to work the concession stand at games. It’s much like when he signs up to visit people at the nursing home near his school.
It’s the same trait in him as when he makes certain to take a bite out of the hot dog or burger he and his mom bring me when I'm at work sometimes because he knows I find that funny.
Ryno, like all of us, has his faults and weaknesses, but not stepping in when help is needed and giving of himself in order to make great things happen or something as simple as making someone smile isn’t one of them.
And yesterday, he did that for me because I and sometimes all of us, forget the lesson he was inadvertently teaching…
That even the simplest acts of kindness that we pass on can make a great deal of difference in the lives of others.
So folks, try to make someone smile today…call up an old friend…open the door for another or simply say hi to a stranger.
Whether they know it or not, or you know it or not, someone out there needs you.