Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Dear Teddy Michael,

How is it possible that you are in the home stretch of your freshman year? I hate to admit this, but every single mother who warned how fast these high school years fly by was right. I hated hearing it then and I'm reluctant to write it now, but it's the sobering truth. Having my baby enter into this pivotal stage that I still so vividly remember is somewhat surreal. It always seemed so long off and far away.

Last night you learned you'll be playing short on the JV team with the idea that you could advance to varsity by the end of the season. It was apparent you were equal parts excited about this accomplishment and disappointed not to be on the freshman team with most of your friends. I feel the same way. I didn't address it because at this point you know that's life. Life is full of sacrifices one must make and opportunities one cannot afford not to take, and you don't need me to tell you this. This is just what you've worked so hard for the last ten plus years.

Baseball has always been your first love. From the very day Uncle Brad came for a visit from Boston with a pitching machine, you had us all shagging your balls. We went through a lot of batteries as you had that thing working from morning to night. At the age of five, you decided you'd certainly be a pitcher in the MLB...a pitcher for the Red Sox. You don't talk about standing on the mound for a living anymore. Life has a way of fine tuning our dreams. Your still a heck of a pitcher and player, but I don't think any of us think you're destined for the Major Leagues. That's called reality. At some point as parents we must stop letting you believe you can do absolutely anything so you don't end up with a major case of disappointment and no options. You learn all too early about Plan B.

It appears your Plan B at present is to be a golf pro so no worries...your head is out of the clouds. You just finished your season and I know you're ruing its ending. You took fourth overall in the conference meet on Monday. That was out of forty something golfers. You weren't pleased as you relived every shot and decision, and I'm starting to learn that this is the fate of golfers: fleeting satisfaction. I don't want that for you, but I firmly believe there are far worse obsessions in life than a lower score. You have a standing foursome every day of the summer. We'll see how long that lasts, but it's fine by me if you spend your summer going from green to field. Just don't forget to do your chores around the house and earn a little money out in the world whether you ump or caddy or cut lawns. You'll need gas money before long.

Academics always come first because that is the basket you should be putting your eggs in. You've worked hard this year and you've excelled although I can see your attention waning with each day. Spring fever sets in at this time of the year whether or not the temperatures cooperate. Sunday night after golfing 18, you sat at the island and worked on a paper while you watched Jason Day win the Player's Championship. I let you against my better judgement because you have yet to turn in a late assignment or receive a poor grade. I want you to know that you have my sympathies for the fact that you are going to spend these last weeks in English reading Homer. As blasphemous as this sounds, I'm an English major and I found the Iliad and Odyssey to be tortuous. You are in the grueling home stretch Ted so just hang in there. Soon you can ditch the 75 pound backpack for a few well-earned months of freedom and fun.

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