When I was a child, my father and my uncle took me to a few baseball games in Atlanta. I loved it. The Braves were amazing in my eyes. My exposure to baseball prior to seeing the Braves was limited. I had quasi-played a game or two in gym class, and I goofed around with a ball and mitt in my backyard. Did I know the rules? No. Did I care that I didn't know the rules? No. I adored the butterflies in my stomach when I was on deck. I just knew that I was going to step up to the plate and send the ball right
out of the park off the asphalt play ground at school. More often than not, I struck out. I think I bunted a time or two. Did I ever actually hit a home run? Nope, not even once. Still, I loved it. Is there any better feeling than being on deck?
Really, we're all still on deck in one way or another. We're all waiting our turn to be parents or grandparents or to be promoted or to lead a group. We're all on deck for the next stage of life.
Hadley is on deck for adulthood. She's patiently waiting for her chance to knock it out of the park. I want her to know that it's okay to strike out. It's okay to stay on the bench if the opponents make you uncomfortable. You have to trust your teammates. You have to take a break for water. You will get dirty. You will fall. You won't always win, but that doesn't always mean that you lost. You will ache. Pain is unavoidable. There will be someone there to tend to your hurt. When you have the chance to make a break for it, go. Go far and fast. Let the crowd cheer you on. Most importantly, I will always be in the stands so to speak. Enjoy this time of being on deck and the anticipation of what is yet to come. Running the bases will wear you down, but making it home will make it all worth while.
Really, we're all still on deck.