Spring sports are always a bit dicey in Utah. We never quite know about the weather. At 3:00 this afternoon I asked the Dog Walker to look up the evening's storms for me. He told me that at 6:00 we had a 100% chance of rain. So I waited patiently for Curly's practice and Baby Doll's and Sport's games to cancel.
But they didn't.
At 4:00 the weather was fine. That is when my friend, Brooke, picked up Sport to take him to his game. At 4:45 when we headed for Curly's practice and ultimately Baby Doll's game, it was overcast, but still no rain. As we settled in at the park, my sweetie texted me to ask if games had been cancelled. "Nope," I punched into my phone before I headed to the dirt to play catch with Baby Doll.
About midway through the third inning, the drops started to come. (Yeah, it was probably about 6:00...) They didn't want to call the game without lightning present, so on they played. Please remember these girls are 8 and under. At 6, Baby Doll is still not the youngest on her team.
By the 5th and final inning, we were all drenched. One of the other games had been called for rain. Our little girls forged on. We already had one game to make up from last week and nobody wanted to go through that again. Bottom of the 5th and it was our last at-bats. Baby Doll had struck out in the previous inning, so I knew that she would not bat again.
Everyone was quite relieved when the first batter struck out. The lady sitting behind me kindly shielded my drenched hair with her umbrella. Baby Doll joined us. The second batter struck out.
We could all feel it now. Almost time to go home. Baby Doll's little friend, Charlie, who is only 5, was up. Her hoodie was soaked through so another little girl offered her windbreaker. Charlie's huge tears mingled with the rain that pelted all of our faces as she headed for the plate. She has never hit a ball in a game or practice, but still she approached the plate.
Strike one... strike two... the tears never let up, and neither did she. Her third big swing... strike three! She ran to the dugout and we all sighed with relief as we quickly gathered up and ran to our vehicles and their promised heat and shelter.
Half an hour later I had all my kids gathered up and getting dry. They called Sport's game early, but decided that at 9 - 1 they wouldn't have to replay it. Curly's team waited out practice in a shed to stay dry. But I couldn't stop thinking about Charlie. She truly didn't want to be there. No one would have blamed her for refusing to bat. And her little friend who sacrificed her own coat.... Or the lady behind me sharing her umbrella....
There are still people out there raising good and kind children. Children who go to bat for their team even when they absolutely don't want to. Children who strike out over and over but still they try with that amazing hope that makes them believe that they truly can smack that ball right out of the park.
That same hope that makes us believe that just because the weather forecast says 100% chance of rain in Utah, we can still play a ballgame.