I am a very lucky man – I’ve got an amazing wife and am the father to three wonderful kids. Lylli was born on Halloween in 2008, Gracie was born November 2010 and although she only lived for 17 months, she will remain as much a part of this family as the rest of us, and Mickey Gray, our first son, was born in June of 2012. I’m not going to say that life has gone exactly as I would have wanted, but it is a good life and I am determined to make the best of it.

This blog is an attempt to document my quest to become a dad that my family can be proud of.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Will's Baseball Game

I realized the other night that I may not have it together as much as I thought.  The Miracle League is an awesome organization that we've known about for several years.  We've even sort of been involved in a very small role in the past (Carrie and I played Santa and the Mrs. at their Christmas Parties at the MOA for a couple years – an awesome event – Since Gracie's diagnosis, I have not been able to get this little girl's face out of my head (she has DS) – she made me laugh both years – one year, she wanted a cell phone for Christmas and told me to not even bother if I was going to try to pass off one of those fake ones – as her mom and sister were pulling her away – she was yelling at me  "A Real One!, A Real One!" ). 

The Miracle League is a baseball league for kids with disabilities.  A few years ago we started to occasionally attend games, at a field not too far from our house, to watch some kids we know that play in the league.  Maybe its because athletics have been such a big part of my life, but when I watch these games, I spend half of the time wiping my eyes because I am so constantly overwhelmed with emotion – not because I feel bad for anyone, but because for the time that these kids are out there – they are not their disability, but instead, its game day and they are a part of a team  - an athlete playing baseball - and although you'll never mistake this game for a game at Target Field or even your typical little league event, it means as much, actually dare I say more, to these baseball players than any game I've ever played in.  I encourage anyone to show up on a random Wednesday or weekend for a game and cheer from the bleachers – It's so much fun and effects you in a way that can't be explained until you experience it in person. 

Wednesday night, Carrie mentioned that Will (a friend's son) had a game that night – For those that don't know – Tracy is Carrie's co-teacher, one of her best friends, and a bridesmaid in our wedding.  She has three children, one of whom (her son Will), was born with Down Syndrome.  This is Will's first year in the Miracle league (I think it's his 1st).  I need to change thoughts for second – The value of the support and advice that we are getting and will be getting from Tracy and Steve (her husband) about the journey we have ahead of us is immeasurable.  I can't convey how appreciative we are to have them in our lives.  OK – back to the Miracle League – I also know that one of my friends' (Pat and Shannon) sons, Cole, plays in the Miracle League as well.  When Carrie mentioned that Will is playing on Wednesday nights, I thought it would be cool sometime to go check out a game.  Its been a couple years since we've been to one and it will be neat to see if Will and Cole are on the same team or play each other, etc.  Anyway – we found out at 6:25 that the game was at 6:30, so we couldn't make it and decided to walk with Lyl to the park down the street instead.  But later that night as I tossed and turned my way to sleep, as I thought about it – I guarantee the next time I see a Miracle League Game, I will be looking at this game in a whole different way – I may need to watch it from my car – not sure how I'll keep it together while looking at it through the eyes of the father of a potential player someday.  I know there are many hurdles to jump before we ever get there, for instance, little things like she needs to be born, and address her heart issue, etc - but you think I thought about a lot of things before?  Hang On!

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