Baseball Season


Baseball Season!  The time of year when Little League games will soon begin!  I remember my husband buckling seatbelts around waists of toothless grins before closing the door to our minivan.  It was “Sign-Up Day,” at our county Athletic Association.

I’d like to say that playing sports isn’t any different for children living with chronic conditions.  When my own kids were diagnosed, that was my hope.  Could it be true?   No, I was being defiant.  Wanting my sons to run bases without worry.  Hoping the knowledge in my head wouldn’t break my heart.

In a small building on the busiest street in town, folding tables were set in a room of peeling paint.  At first glance, it looked as though a country wedding was about to begin.  Instead, there was a cardboard box of printed paper surrounded by an unspoken order.  Tiny boxes needed be checked under fluorescent lights of bright white.  Names and addresses and ages too, were to be added in lines of blue.

Days later, an official looking letter arrived.  Like the first day of school, it listed an assigned teacher (coach) together with a classroom (team).  My boys delighted in this.  Especially the name of their teams!  Raptors, Thunder, or Boys of Wonder?   It didn’t matter.  A Home Run had already been hit within their imaginations….

That first season started only weeks after my oldest was diagnosed with diabetes.  Mothers and others covered their mouths, back then.  They whispered behind my back, “Was it possible to play with his condition,” someone asked?  Yes, my son could play baseball!   I would figure out a way.  He was no different from any other little boy…..Besides, he was good with the ball and a quick runner.  He could steal bases faster than any other six-year-old on his team.   His coaches nicknamed him, “Jet.”   Once he started running, he didn’t stop.  Two years before, Forrest Gump!

I’m not going to lie.  It wasn’t always easy.  Adrenalin made my boy’s blood sugar drop like the pitcher’s ball at home plate.   Sometimes, I’d dash off to the dug-out to prick his finger, checking a single drop of blood to see if his number was “low.”  If so, he’d drink a can of juice or eat some food brought from home.  Sometimes both.  Then off he’d go, out into the field of green to play and run and have some fun.

My youngest son who was diagnosed with asthma, had obstacles too, with sports.  Exercise was a huge asthma trigger for him.  He used a preventive inhaler before each game.  Even at a young age, he was still a big little guy who slammed the ball far into the field.  After running around all three bases, he often had to sit out for an inning or more.  Holding his chest, he’d gasp for breath.  Deeply, he’d inhale white powdered medicine from his rescue inhaler.  It was hard for him to sit on the bench while his friends played a game that he loved.  Harder still not to breathe….

God taught me many lessons during the years my kids played baseball.  After all, I lived at the ball park from the first game in spring until the end of summer.  In turn, both of my children learned lessons too.  Living with a chronic condition didn’t stop them from pursuing what they wanted in life.  No matter what, they could always try something new.  Together, they played sports of all kinds.  Somehow, they found a way.  First and foremost, they were kids who happened to live with……….whatever.

If your child lives with a chronic condition, do whatever it takes to make their dreams come true.  Ask for help, pray to God and wish upon a star.  If you believe in their dreams, they will too.

 

Jayson Gosselin–Age 6 First Year of Little League

Jay Justin Baseball1

 

 

Justin-Age 7, First Year                               Jayson-Age 9

Jay Justin Baseball2 Jay Justin Baseball3

 

Jay Justin Baseball4  Jayson–Age 16, Freshman High School

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

14 thoughts on “Baseball Season

  1. Lovely words, my friend! Asthma has been my friend since my birth. We together live in harmony. And yes, playing a sport regularly is a great medicine for many ‘chronic conditions’. I play soccer. It gives me freedom like it does for your sons. Beautiful moments you share!

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  2. Glad your kids were able to enjoy Little League despite their chronic conditions.
    My older son is playing this year – first time. I am actually coaching too. Anyway, he has practiced a lot and I hope he will be okay and more importantly enjoy the experience.

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    • You and your son will love it! I spent twelve years at the ball park. More afterwards, when Jayson began to coach. He won the division title his first first year! I miss it now…

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  3. What an inspiring story! Your sons are really lucky to have a warm, supportive mother like you, who will help them enjoy all the pleasures of childhood like this. 🙂 I admire and honor you for your dedication to them.

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  4. I remember those days. I have 4 kids. They all have asthma and one has a peanut allergy, imagine that in a little league dugout. No peanuts! My kids played every sport known to mankind. Inhalers and epi-pens always in my purse, just in case. I now miss little league baseball more than anything. My oldest son. Tyler, has been obsessed with baseball ever since he started playing t-ball at the age of three. He’s now a Sophomore in college and still playing the sport. Both my boys played baseball, but my youngest, Brett, lost interest in it around 5th or 6th grade. I now pray my little Xander will be blessed with a love of sports. He’s only 18 months old, but he can start at age 3 and already has one heck of a throw. Maybe he’ll be a pitcher like his Uncle Tyler. I’ll love whatever he chooses to do, but I sure do miss little league baseball a lot. Thanks for sharing your story. It sure hit home with me.
    How’s your voice coming along? I hope it’s getting better. I’ve been praying for you.
    Peace and hugs,
    Tammy:)

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    • So good to hear from you and thanks for sharing your story, Tammy. Sounds like you had your hands full too! I truly miss those days at the ball park. I hope little Xander will follow in his daddy’s footsteps-
      “Grandma” needs to see him there one day!

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      • Yes, I had my hands full, but I enjoyed every minute of it and time just goes by too darn fast. It’s Little League baseball that I miss more than anything. I’ll never forget all those tournaments in over 100 degree weather, sitting out there worrying that the boys would all have heat strokes, as I was having one sitting on the sideline. LOL never stopped me, though. I just loved it so much and spent so many years there. I just have to pray that Xander will have some of his Uncle Tyler in him. Good hearing from you, my dear friend. How’s your voice coming along?

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      • Oh, Tammy, I remember those days of dangerous heat. Scary sometimes! Lots of soaked towels in cold ice water. One day, Xander will be running bases for you and Uncle Tyler to see!! 🙂
        As for my voice, it’s on to, “Plan B.” I tried my best. No worry. All is in my latest post. Love you, Tammy.

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      • Even through all the scariness and heat, it was still loads of fun. We were there and weren’t going to let anything happen to our boys. Yesterday was so awesome because one of my friends from the good ole little league days, called me after several years to meet for lunch. I thought that was really cool. We were supposed to go tomorrow, but she had to cancel until Thursday due to some medical test she was supposed to have today, didn’t go as planned and she’s going to hopefully do it tomorrow and we’ll meet for lunch on Thursday. I met her through little league. Funny thing is that neither one of us can eat, but we can sure sit at a table and drink lots of water and chat. I’m really looking forward to that.
        I know you tried and did your best with your voice. Hang in there. You are a very strong lady and Plan B will be what works for you. We are going to need to be able to talk while drinking that wine, now, right? You aren’t more than just a few hours away from me, so don’t think I’m kidding about us drinking that wine one of these days soon. I love you, girl, and I’ll be praying for you with your voice and no worries, you got this. I wish you the best and I better get over to your blog and read your post. Take care, my dear friend.
        Peace, love, and hugs,
        Wild Thang:)

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      • Well,’Little League” has found a way to stay in your life, after al! Yes, I’d like to have that glass of wine with you,Tammy. It will be so much fun! Thank you, Girl Friend.

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