Wednesday, June 19, 2013

T-Ball and Tools - My 5 Year Old Farm Boy's World

Our son Henry has been indoctrinated by his older brothers into summer's classic time and energy leech (for parents), also known as baseball.  He's a big t-ball player now, cheeks stuffed like a chipmunk with sunflower seeds, Gatorade stains on his uniform (before the game even begins), he's discovered that cleats are better for crushing bugs than for gaining traction on a double.  
His brothers have taught him everything he knows about the game, and just to prove to them that he's been paying attention to their example, he showed off his super-skills at the very first game by sliding at every base - every base, despite the coaches yelling, "Henry, stop sliding, just run!" Not only did he ignore them, he also thought it quite impressive to perch proudly on home plate after sliding in, squinting through dirt and sun to see which parents were watching the whole production.  Well, every parent was, and every parent was shouting at him to get up so that their kids could have a moment too.  

Sweet, Jesus.  Sweet, sweet Jesus, please help me not to spew my seeds on little miss "MOVE IT!" over here.  

Parents, chill out.  It's t-ball, not the majors. Anyway...if you know me you know how I feel about high blood pressure parents and sports.  (If you don't know me, here's a little revelation.)

On the way home from the game, this conversation between father and son took place:
Dad:  Henry, what do you think about when you get up to bat?
Henry:  Well, Dad, mostly I think about growing up so that I can have my very own pocket knife.
Dad:  Oh, you don't want to grow up too fast, son.
Henry:  Well, I think I'm at least old enough to have my own pair of pliers.  That would be awesome for me.  Then, I don't have to think about tools when I bat, I can just think about baseball!

The next day, I was planning a trip to town, and promised Henry that we could go by the Farm 'n Home and pick up a shiny new pair of pliers for him.  But, that morning, before loading up, Henry came running into the house, bursting with excitement over his new "gift."  Grandpa just happened to have an extra pair and an extra leather holder to go with them!
After our trip to town, Henry ran out to find Daddy, who helped Henry burn his name into the leather with a soldering iron.
Now, you must know that every Husband farm boy wears Wranglers, boots, a cap and a belt with thier pliers out to work every day.  It's our dress code.
As I was snapping these pics of Henry moseying out to "work" with daddy, the weight of the pliers was having a negative effect on his favorite pair of black Wranglers...
He would saunter a few yards across the lawn then stop to pull up his pants, wiggling his little bottom from side to side.  I couldn't stifle my giggles - it was the cutest darn thing I'd ever seen!
What do you use your pliers for, Henry?
Well, I mostly use them for pulling nails out of boards, and stickers out of my feet.
I received a long and detailed explanation of how a pair of pliers works. It was extremely informative, and entertaining as you might imagine!
As I watched Henry walk across the yard to the shop, I couldn't help but feel a twinge of regret in my heart.  Regret for every time I thought that my busy business was more important than his big stories and bold explanations.  We must treasure the little moments we have with our children, the sporadic fractions of our over-filled days that we attempt to them.  And in those moments, we must strive to be fully present to them.  For those are the moments that add up to a rich and full story of who they are, and who they are becoming, precious in their hearts, beautiful in their imaginations and unique in their perspective and perception of the world.
What a glorious life is the life that offers the chance to sit beside a boy, in the sweet soft grass, admiring the magic of a shiny new pair of pliers.  Set busy aside, choose the chance - you'll never get it back!


  1. Our sons are the same age... I just love little boys... Love the pliers in the holster!

  2. Those photos of Henry with his pants falling down are absolutely precious. There is nothing greater for a little boy than to finally get to be like his big brothers. I sometimes wonder how much the older kids realize the awe the little guys have for them. I try to point it out, but I don't know if they see it. I certainly do.
    We really do need to slow down and see these little things and listen to their stories and pay attention to the "mundane".

  3. There is something about little boys and cowboy boots that always makes me smile:)Our youngest son finally grew out of the boots he has been wearing and got a new pair. I had to put the old ones up in the closet, beat up and weathered because oh the memories made while walking in those boots!


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