Living and laughing with a disability - cerebral palsy; ordinary life, extraordinary circumstances.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Go Gresham Little League!

A couple weeks ago, on a Friday night, Jodie and I picked up some dinner and took it to the Gresham Main City park.  Eric was in New Orleans with Lutheran youth from across the country.

We were pleased to see a team of Little League All Stars practicing.  Jodie and I love to follow the Little League World Series on tv every August.  These kids were good.  According to the signs, they were getting ready for districts.

We were both thinking it...I don't know which one of us said it..."Wouldn't it be cool if these kids make it to Williamsport?

My mind went tripping back to when Eric was in T-ball.  Bright sunshine glimmering on the early morning dew at North Gresham Park.  The kids had to be pointed toward first base.  As the kids got older, the games moved to East Gresham Elementary.

I remember the jamborees at Gresham Main City Park.  Jodie won the raffle one year - a party suite at a Portland Beavers game.  I remember the lady that was in charge of the Gresham Little League was so happy that Jodie won.  We took the team and their much fun!

So long ago.  Now Eric is 6'5" and a high school ace.

Even so, this week as the Gresham boys pursue their dreams in Williamsport, we will be watching.

Jodie will be rooting for them loudly until she is hoarse.  Eric will be saying, "Mom, they can't hear you!"

Go Gresham Little League!  We are proud of you!

The Wittrens

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Taking part of greatness

We are down in Coos Bay for a few days this week to watch our son's baseball team play in the state single A American Legion baseball tournament.

The aged vet who took our money at the gate - I saw him hop on his adult tricycle in the afternoon.  I was moved by that because that used to be my primary mode of transportation.  A lifetime of serving and he continues to serve in whatever way he can.

Clyde Allen Field, a classic baseball venue.  The flag that waves high above the stands was once waving on a flag pole in Afghanistan.

The look in the kids eyes as they were asked to repeat the words of the American Legion baseball code of conduct was read to them:

I Will: Keep the Rules;
Keep Faith with my teammates;
Keep my temper; Keep myself fit;
Keep a Stout heart in defeat;
Keep my pride under in victory;
Keep a sound soul; A clean mind; And a Healthy body

The kids were antsy and just wanted the game to start, I know, but I hope they heard the words and tucked the words somewhere in their hearts. Great words to live by.

A game with Central Point on Wednesday, and a game with North Medford this morning.  Neither game went as we would have preferred.

Even so, the great American pastime played with heart by Oregon high school boys from across the state, mixed with the patriotic tradition of the American Legion - how can you not feel awe of the greatness of it all?

I have heard some of the olympians say that winning is great, but just being there to witness the greatness of it all is almost as great.

My hope is that one day, after the sting of defeat has passed, the boys will remember with pride the American Legion state baseball tournament they were part of and the words of the code of conduct they recited will come to mind.

Winning is great, but taking part of greatness is never a loss.