Benjamin is an athletic, competitive kid. He's played little-league this spring for the first time and enjoys being on the field or at bat - and his only complaint is that the league isn't competitive this year - no scoring, no outs. Because it's not competitive, he doesn't really get the point and sometimes doesn't want to play. Interesting how young they figure out that if you don't keep score, the game is probably not a whole lot of fun. Great for learning skills - but that's called practice. We're big fans of practice, but the reward is a game.
On this Saturday, Benjamin's team was down 3-4 players - left with only 7 kids. Benjamin asked his coach if his younger brother, Taylor, could join the team for the game. Taylor naturally had his glove and was ready to play. The coach welcomed him and Taylor enthusiastically joined the team. In the first inning, he fielded a grounder that was fast and off to the left - it was a diving stop. His at bats, from a pitch, headed for the outfield (although there were plenty of strikes, had we been counting). In the third inning, he caught a fly ball. Parents and coaches were pretty amazed at the ball-play instincts of this four-year old.
We realize Taylor is a gifted athlete and we're glad he enjoys the game so much. What's amazing is that Benjamin realizes that Taylor is a gifted athlete and invited him to play knowing that he would garner much of the attention during the game. Benjamin was proud of his brother and while sometimes he's envious of Taylor's natural gift, we were very proud of Benjamin for welcoming him, sharing in his gifts and playing ball well himself.