Davey Doser At the Bat

The sun was baking, the bugs were flying, and the breeze was all but existent.  We knew it would be tough, we knew it would be long, but we hoped he would make it through, with the resilience of the Doser he is.

Being in the heat for an adult can be brutal, but playing tee ball as a 4 year old, takes exhaustion as well as stamina to whole new levels.

Saturday was our first tee ball game of the season, and it was a double header at that, on quite literally the hottest day of the year.   Should I have been surprised, nearly 41 years old and a lifetime living in the South?   I wasn’t.   As a matter of fact, I thought back to my grueling summer days of band camp, and knew that if I could survive eight hours of that torture, then my flesh and blood, my first born, would be able to survive 2 hours of tee ball.

As the kids slowly trickled in, their parents in tow with chairs, sunscreen, bug spray, cameras, and coolers of drinks (wait maybe that was just me), a little pre game practice began.   Just as the game was to start, the water seemed to break, or maybe the kids were just looking for an excuse to avoid the inevitable game, and the entire team trekked inside to the bathroom.   Quite the crew they were, and more entertaining for me was seeing my husband as the leader of the group.

Davey Doser at bat.

Bathroom breaks were over, all teammates were present, and it was time to start some tee ball.   As my husband gathered around the teams, he quickly reminded me of one of the many reasons I love him so.   Removing his cap, and encouraging the kids to do the same, he went down on bended knee, head lowered and thanked our Lord for the day, the children, and the opportunity to play.  And then with an “Amen” he stood up and proclaimed, “let’s play ball.”

Coach Doser praying before the game.

So, the thing with tee ball and 4 &5 year olds is that they don’t have much patience for being in the outfield.   Waiting on a ball to come their way is excruciating.   It’s akin to waiting for that boy or girl who you really have the hots for, to call you.   You wait and wait and wait.   You hope and pray for that ball to come your way, and much like when the phone rings, when that elusive ball is hit, you immediately jump and run for it.   All of the kids run, not just the one who it was hit towards.   I watched in amusement as the first ball was hit towards first base and the poor kid in left field nearly ran over all his teammates just to get the ball.   They reminded of the seagulls from Finding Nemo, with their shouts of “mine, mine, mine” as they scrambled to be the one to get the ball.

Davey caught the ball!

When they’re at bat, it’s a whole other world.   Their excitement is intoxicating.  Their eagerness to hit the ball as hard as possible and as far as possible inspires even the laziest of us to want to do more.   Davey looks like such a big boy until he puts on a batting helmet, and then he’s immediately reduced back to my little baby boy, but he chokes up on the bat, offers himself as a switch hitter (yes he hits left and right), steps into the swing and hits the ball.   At times it’s a foul, but he still makes contact.

Running home!

Tee ball is exciting for me, more so than soccer, maybe not as much as football, but we haven’t gotten there yet.   Tee ball represents America.  It’s the beginning stages of baseball, America’s pastime, and reminds me of all things warm and like home.   I love that Davey wanted to take it back up again this season.   I love that he’s learning to hit a ball that’s thrown at him.  I love that he gets into his catcher’s stance and has even asked for a big wad of gum to chew.

Throwing to the cut off man.

For the next six weeks, our lives will be inundated with hot summer nights on the baseball field, steamy Saturday mornings at the same place, an overabundance of Gatorade, batting practice, catching stances, and we might even throw in some hotdogs and ice cream.   When my little Davey Doser is at the bat or in the field, this mama, as always, is his biggest fan.

he caught it
Celebrating another catch.

With his daddy as coach, he seems to have taken to the game a bit more, or maybe it’s just because he’s a year older with a bit more focus.  Who knows!

Getting a high five from Daddy, er Coach Doser.

Hey batter, batter, batter!


Just Keep Running, Just Keep Running

I say this not only to myself, but also to Davey, and I do it in my best Dory voice.  You know?  From Finding Nemo.

I’m a runner.  Not as much as I used to be, but I still do it.  The older I’ve become, the more my body likes to remind me of that age.  My hips crack and pop, my knees occasionally groan and lately I’ve begun to suffer from a thing called plantar fasciitis, a lovely little heel pain I was graced with while training for a half marathon last year.

I run because I like it.  I run because it keeps me from getting too fat.  I run because I want to be able to have energy and stay in shape so I can get out in the back yard with my boys.

My parents weren’t exactly active when I was a kid.  They were active in the sense of, there’s yard work to be done, grass to be mowed, a garden to be tended and toilets to be scrubbed.  I suppose that you can burn calories that way thereby preventing a gross exaggeration of your beltline, but my parents didn’t exercise.   Occasionally, my dad would get out in the front yard with us and play baseball.   And by “play”, I mean he would pitch, but for every ball we hit, WE (my brother and I) had to go get it.

I remember our neighbors two houses down used to run together in the evenings.  The four of them would come home, change into their running clothes, and hit the pavement before dinner.   I thought that was the coolest thing, but I wasn’t a seasoned runner back then, and of course neither were my parents.   Back then, I thought you just went all out and began running.  Not so, I’ve learned as I’ve become older.

In the spirit of the fact that most schools seem to be doing away with PE classes, I’ve decided to find ways to keep my boys active.   Davey has played soccer the past two seasons and will play it again this fall.  He just started up t ball, as you all saw in a couple of posts ago.   Henry hasn’t quite made it to those stages yet which is a bummer for me.  Davey; however, has the energy of the Energizer Bunny which I adore and I would love to find a way to keep him as active as possible, so I decided to let him run his first ever race this past Friday.  In hindsight, perhaps last Friday wasn’t the best day to let him attempt to follow in my footsteps.

I registered my husband and me for a 5k.   They’re usually pretty easy peasy for me, since I run a minimum of 4 miles and bike upwards to 20 miles (you can’t really tell that by the looks of my body).   Being a born and raised Southern girl, one would think my body is already conditioned to the blistering heat and smothering humidity.  Not so.  Friday night’s race was run in 95 degree weather at 6:30, when the humidity had the opportunity to find its resting place and just perch.   I was miserable and for once I didn’t care what my time was.   I just wanted to not die, so I could only imagine how my son and husband were faring, seeing as how my husband doesn’t run.  Well, it started a little something like this.

We all started at the back of the pack, but I quickly worked my way through the crowd and left my boys behind me.  I ran the course, finished it and then turned around to find my boys.   Aunt Erin was pushing Henry in his stroller and had set a pretty good pace, so she finished it ahead of Dave and Davey.   When I finally came across the two of them, Davey was atop his daddy’s shoulders, his face flushed and his hair sopping wet.  My husband, not to be outdone by Davey’s waterfall of sweat, was just as drenched if not more so.   I asked how they did and my husband informed me of Davey’s “all out” mentality.

Davey started the race at full speed ahead, running as fast as he could go, at times making it a bit difficult for my husband to keep up with him.  He made it a quarter of a mile before deciding he needed his water, which Aunt Erin had in the stroller.  Instead of waiting for her to catch up, he ran back to her.   There’s a full half a mile in the books.

Once he felt sufficiently hydrated, he began running again, treating the race as if it were a 50 yard dash.  Needless to say, he pretty much hit a wall by the time he reached the halfway point of the 3 mile race.   He finally just sat down on the side of the road and in one of his best Emmy performances to date, flailed his arms and sighed, following it with an “I just can’t go any further” statement.  That’s when my husband decided to carry him.

I’m proud of Davey.  He’s not even 4 yet and he participated in a 5k, on possibly one of the hottest days on record.   He didn’t run the entire race, but he did a lot more than the majority of Americans can do.  Fortunately for me, this one little event hasn’t turned him off of racing.   I have him signed up for a 1 mile kids race in October, in the morning, when the climate will be much more conducive to running.

I asked him how he felt afterwards and he said, “tired, but I did like Dory does, mommy, but I didn’t keep swimming.   I kept running.”   Good job, Davey!

We all finished!
We all finished!