As you may remember, my kids play baseball. Sr. Jr. had grown into a very good pitcher, and a decent enough hitter and fielder, good enough to have made the Little League All-Star team this summer. As you may also remember, All-Stars was a nightmare for him. The coaches seemed to favor other kids they were more familiar with (in some cases, related to), and Sr. Jr. didn't get to pitch once. From what we understand, he was picked for the All-Star team primarily on the strength of his pitching. I sat through his games, thinking that Sr. Jr. could pitch better than most of the pitchers the coaches used. In many cases, he could pitch much better. By the end of All-Stars, the poor kid had lost most of his confidence and a lot of his love of the game. (He was not the only kid who felt this way.)
Now Fall Ball has started. Sr. Jr. was a little reluctant to play, but decided to do it. His coach sent around an email before the start of the season asking which positions the kids did or did not like to play, so I mentioned that SJ pitched, played infield, and occasionally outfield. I was not encouraged when I saw one of his All-Star coaches was assisting on his Fall team, but the other coaches seemed very nice. The first game was ok; he played outfield and third, got a nice hit and popped out.
Yesterday was game two. I was nervous when I found out SJ was going to start at pitcher. It had been a long time since he'd pitched, and he looked a bit rusty warming up. The other team was in the field first, with some familiar faces from past teams and the All-Star team. Their pitcher was one of the All-Star pitchers to whom I'd compared SJ favorably. He's got good velocity, but not such good accuracy, so a lot of our kids (including SJ) walked in the first inning. I know we scored a couple of runs, but I don't think anyone really keeps score during Fall Ball.
Then it was SJ's turn on the mound. Struck out the first batter. Struck out the second batter. Third batter hit an easy shot to the shortstop, who made the easy throw to first. Inning over. I could see how triumphant SJ felt. He pitched well in the second inning too. In fact, during the second inning, one of the parents from the other team, whose child had also had a bad experience during All-Stars, came over to me and said (with a sardonic smile), "Tell me again why your son didn't pitch during All-Stars?"
His coaches have now nicknamed him "Hawkeye," because of the sport glasses he wears. I think he likes it.
After the game, I asked how it felt to be back on the mound. "It felt really good, Mom," he said. "I felt like I knew exactly where I was." I'm so happy for him (and relieved). It's nice to see him get back the confidence that he had at the end of the season. I know he has a bit of a "Ha! Showed you!" feeling about it, too.
I finished the STR Gumdrop socks:
And a closer-up view:
These were fun and quick to knit. There's only one more shipment of the STR club due, and it's supposed to be shipped out next week. So far, even though I've made 3 out of 4 of the club socks, I've not been overly thrilled with being in this club. To be honest, Socks That Rock has never been a favorite sock yarn. I know they have an ardent fan base, but I just don't love the colors or the base yarn enough to continue being in the club. I've liked some patterns from years past, but this year's didn't really knock my socks off (har har). Therefore, I've decided I will not renew my membership.
That leaves me short one sock club membership. By chance, yesterday I wandered over to Sundara's website, where serendipitously, sock club memberships were open :) (I got there just in time -- the clubs are full now.) I love Sundara's sock yarns, both the colors and the base yarn. I love how Sundara creates tonal, monochromatic colorways with lots of depth and rich color. I also like her overdyeing concepts, where she'll take a base color and overdye it with another, creating interesting tonal changes. It was tough to choose which collection to sign up for -- the lights are very pretty, the darks are typical of my style -- but it was the cool collection that really appealed to me, with its wines and purples and blues. So that's what I signed up for. The yarns don't come with patterns, but that's fine with me, plus, you get more of them. I have any number of amazing sock patterns waiting to be knit (Cookie A, anyone?), and am more than capable of designing my own.
I've rationalized this by saying that it's not really a *new* yarn purchase, but a kind of subscription renewal. Yeah, that's the ticket.
Tomorrow I'm hosting the playgroup moms for morning tea. So far I've got two types of scones put up in the freezer and sour cherry sauce in the fridge. Today I'm going to make my yummy almond cake (to go with the cherry sauce) and clean house. We're doing a bit of a potluck, so with my desserts and everyone else's contributions, we'll be well-fed.
As much as I love my friends, we're on opposite ends of the political spectrum. I remember feeling really uncomfortable at some of our get togethers during the last Presidential election season, so I'm going to institute a "No politics in Loren's house" rule to maintain the peace.
Between that and Back to School night tonight, not much knitting will get done before Friday afternoon, I'm afraid. Hopefully I won't get too wiggy before then.