In the words of the coach, “The regular season is over. This is All-Stars now. These things tend to get a bit cut-throat.”

However, we’re going to have fun, too. He said.

Unlike regular games, All-Star rules only require a minimum of one at-bat and three outs, so with 13 kids on the team, we should expect plenty of bench-warming shared between the 8 kids who are not the top 5 players. 

I can live with that. All I hope for is that when Nick is on the field, he stops the ball and makes good throws. With the bar set higher, any errors are bound to haunt him. And please, if he strikes out, let it be only because the pitcher is too damn fast for anyone to hit off of.  

Is it wrong that my first instinct is to hope he doesn’t screw up rather than automatically wishing greatness for him? My fear is outweighing my dreams? (Neither of which, technically, are mine. Except everything your kids do cannot help but be connected to you somehow, right?)

I can’t muddle through these thoughts with any eloquence. (Another prayer: please do not let me lose all my writing talent from disuse. Like a car that stops running and sits: by the time you’re able to replace that starter, a dozen other things need replacing – might as well just scrap it.)

I need to get to the beach, have some coffee.

(Or rather, given the phone call I just received, I need to wake up Nick and Kaylee, get breakfast going, remind them to pack lunches, figure insulin and gather their wetsuits up before their ride to surf camp gets here. Hopefully, I’ll still have time for at least a quick jaunt to look at the ocean.)

But one more important thing, quickly: Nick is a good player! He loves the game, he’s worked hard, he can hit the ball, he throws with speed and accuracy, and runs the bases so fast, I’ve heard some of the dads call him “Wheels” (a nickname also bestowed upon his oldest sister). So just because I’m all mom-protective-worried, doesn’t mean he’s anything less than a solid player. 

He’s great. They’re all great. My chest hurts from the weight of love I have for these kids.