My son has wanted to play professional baseball since he could walk. I have heard and seen people's reactions to that. I've defended his dream to everyone and anyone who tried to squash that dream. I believed that he could accomplish it. I saw his name up on that Scoreboard. I have supported him in every single step leading up to this point in his life.
In the last year or so he's relieved some of the pressure on himself and said he would be OK if he at least got to play college ball. We spent time with a family friend back in May and he made such an impression on my son he realized that there is life after baseball. He also has a serious girlfriend now and I think he's rethinking the future. Either way, I know he will accomplish anything he sets his mind to.
We had a rare family dinner and Danny's girlfriend joined us. We sat for two hours at the table laughing and reminiscing and I felt such joy and pride as I looked around the table. Such love for this family that I created....my life's work sitting right in front of me. With that feeling came a lot of other emotions. Halloween came right before the trip. I've never been a fan of Halloween, but this year was different. My boys were both working doubles and my daughter and I were going to some trunk or treat type thing at a college with friends. I swear it's so depressing out here....back in New York we would trick or treat from morning till night....here it's from 6pm-8pm----what's that? Well I talked to my friend Laura when she stopped by and I realized that I was realizing that once again everything was changing. The four of us are so extremely close and within a year we would, once again, not be living in the same house. Probably never will again. Not only that but for the first time we wouldn't be in the same state. I realized the next part of their lives were starting and I was excited for them! But I also realized the next part of my life was starting too and it wasn't necessarily the way I thought it would be. Yet again. But I knew that it would be amazing and the sadness was lifted relatively quickly.
Last week we took a trip to visit a college in North Carolina. It was the first time I left my daughter for more than overnight and via plane. We had gone to San Diego a few weeks before that but that was only overnight. My son liked that college, but I was feeling in my gut that NC was going to be "the one". We had a rough few weeks before the trip, but we were in a really good place when the day came to leave. I was prepared for the rough time---I went through it with my oldest the year before he went away to school. My sons and I have such a close bond it's like they have to act like they don't care and make me mad at them so that we can separate from each other. The difference with Danny and me is that a. we went through this with Richie and b. we have been through too much in Danny's young life---cancer, surgery, too much, for us to not be close. So, college road trip part 3 here we come!
The visit went well. We left there knowing that this was where he wanted to go. The coach offered him a spot on the team, the admissions guy gave us a verbal based on what he saw....success! We got back to the hotel and my son hugged me so tight, he jumped into my arms like he did when he was a little boy and he said "we did it mama".....I actually can't see right now the tears are flowing. We.....we did it. He is the one that did it all---I was just along for the ride but how sweet he is. Everything changed in that moment. He was a committed athlete at a great University---it's all he wanted. He was walking taller and he seemed to age a few years in that moment. What's better than achieving your dreams? Watching your kids achieve theirs. Go get 'em Dan-----I'll share your success from my seat behind home plate.