Fast forward six weeks and the sudden death of Steve's father and especially for Steve, the slump continued. I am not sure which is worse, battling a slump of your own or helping those you love with one they face? Having my mom to talk to and around with us the last 10 days really helped me to realize that it is time for me to step up a little more. I have taken on tons of extra stuff that Steve handles and that coupled with him sleeping downstairs in the hospital room we have created . . . has me missing him a bit. Also I miss seeing him smile. The kids miss having happy parents. Pretty sure we have passed our slump onto them a bit. They wonder when Grandpa is going to come down from the sky with his new friend Kevin (when people have told them Grandpa is up in Heaven, they understand it as his friend Kevin) I think we actually have turned things around for the kids, getting them back to their routine and spending lots of time with them. Much harder on Max then the two three year olds, but at 8 you tend to bounce back pretty quick and also he has the whole ability to think for himself thing going on. So here is where the silver lining of this story comes in and a feeling I needed to make sure I captured in print . . . what I learned from an 8 year old and little league baseball.
Max has had the opportunity this spring and summer to play on a baseball all-star team. He loves baseball and has been thrilled to be a part of this special team. They had a cinderella season and became the team that just kept going. Sports in Max's young life has always pretty much gone his way. He is a bigger kid and gifted with some athletic talent and some brains, a good combination. This experience for him was the story of the little fish in a pond of some much larger, more experienced and a little older fish. In short, Max made solid contributions to the team, but for the first time in his young life he was not one of the team leaders. He struggled a bit to find his way. He along with a few other kids on the team were moved up from the Bantam group, where they faced a batting machine instead of live pitching. He started off hitting okay, but as the team kept advancing and the pitchers faced got stronger . . . Max struggled with confidence. He started to come to the plate a bit defeated. It was so hard to watch our always confident and positive kid struggling. (note to max if this is ever read later in life- tons of great hits and plays did happen both in the state tournament and the mid-atlantic championships, you had a great experience) In two recent games however, he struck out five times in a row. He was in a slump.
Here is the fun part of the story. He realized after those two games that the only way to get out of his batting slump was to face what was going on. On the way home from the second game, he asked me and some others, how he could shake this thing. Then he thought about it and realized that it really was a confidence thing, he knew how to swing and just needed to think positive. He needed to swing the bat and have some fun. So he did. An older brother of a friend on the team, took the boys out the afternoon before the last game and he shook off the curse. Or at least he changed his outlook. They ended up losing the game by one run and not advancing to the finals, but it was a heck of a battle and great game. Also they were the first team in the history of our town to even get to a regional tourney and to tie for first in the pool, they did great! He ended on a positive note and is committed to practicing hitting all year, so he will be able to make the transition to the new league without having to face another slump. In the car going home, he told me that HE had to decide for himself to break the slump and it was in his head. You just have to shake these things off.
I actually think the kid is on to something. I have decided to change my mindset and get out of my funk. I am hoping it will be contagious and help Steve as well. My day with the two little ones has been great. Getting back to being a boy enjoying summer has been great for Max. He is attending real old fashion swim, games, hike, etc. kind of camps in the woods the next two weeks. He mentions he misses Grandpa, but that getting back to life has helped. Just like the batting mom, you have to put it out of your head for awhile. Smart kid, huh? So Mom is going to get Dad back in his groove and we are going to find our mojo. I don't know about you, but being happy and positive is really such a better way to spend the day.
From a creative front, it did work for me today. I am a bit over committed in flickr swaps and decided to take care of a few. A sense of accomplishment is a great feeling and I love the items I made. First I finished a clutch for the gather clutch swap and I think it is fun and great. I hope my partner feels the same. Had a hard time getting a sense of what fabrics she would like and what I had that might have a vintage feel. In the end, I just had to go for it and stop worrying. I think it was a solid double.
Then I finished this am with my two little helpers a pair of potholders and a fun little towel. I am not sure if I will use them for the Potholder Pass or the Urban Homegoods swap. I think I will see if either of my partners remark on them or perhaps make a second similar set. I love this fabric grouping from Robert Kaufman and paired with linen, black, white and red just can't be beat.
So friends, how do you get out of your head and break the slumps in life you face?