Sunday, July 08, 2007

Kids...tournaments...cell phones

I cried myself to sleep this morning...

I was up very early to take my son and husband to the Portland airport -- they flew down to the Bay Area to attend the MLB HomeRun Derby and Baseball FanFest in San Francisco, and soak up all their favorite sport has to offer in their favorite city (they were both born there). I traveled back to Washington County quickly, no traffic and with a beautiful summer morning enveloping me as it unfolded over the downtown area. I pulled into our driveway at 5:30am.

The Sunday Oregonian was not even in its tube yet, so I logged into my computer and uploaded a great photo of "my boys" at the airport and sent it to family and friends. "What a treat for them," I thought. It's not like we're big-spending booster, season-ticket-holding, Nike-employed sports jet-setters. We love sports and really had to find a way to work in their two day whirlwind trip to see the events in San Francisco, both financially, and in terms of their own baseball team, the JBO Westview National Wildcats.

I heard the newspaper delivery car swing by our house, walked out and grabbed it, changed back into my pajamas and lay in bed to read and enjoy my peace and quiet. I read the front-page story on the horrific crash on Highway 26, near Sandy, and just started bawling...

"The 8:30 a.m. head-on crash in the rural Cherryville area of Clackamas County killed a mom, her daughter and a family friend on their way to a youth baseball tournament. A man in another vehicle also died. Seven people were injured. "

(link to story on KGW-tv)

They could have been headed to a soccer tournament, or the End of the Trail basketball tournament in Oregon City, but for some reason, "youth baseball tournament" grabbed me by the heart and I lost it... Can you imagine waiting on two late players as your district tournament game was about to begin? What goes through your mind?

All over the country, cars and vans of families and teammates are traveling to baseball and softball tournaments, especially this week. We rush to here and there and fret about equipment and umpire calls and winning/losing and did he pull that pitcher too soon?

Today, let's celebrate the small miracle of kids healthy enough to play ball, arriving safely, and finishing the game and burgers/pizza, and making it home safe and sound. Let's celebrate the small miracle of tournament logistics, all the pieces coming together, the rows of grandparents and neighbors out for the big game, the number of things that must go right when a batter lays down a perfect bunt and the defense shifts, covers the bag, makes the out, or the batter legs it out and moves his/her teammates around the bases...

I woke up at 9:08am today when the phone rang and the caller ID said Jacks cell phone.

"Hi mom! We got in fine and we're on the road, heading up to San Francisco..."

Please take a moment to think about and pray for the North Portland Junior Baseball program, and especially the Brundege and Williams families. And today and everyday, enjoy baseball, enjoy softball, enjoy soccer and basketball and volleyball and gymnastics and cheerleading and band concerts and school plays and spelling bees and Eagle Scout ceremonies and .... your kid's voice on the other end of the phone when it wakes you up from a deep sleep.


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