Last night was Kalena's very first T-Ball game. You would've thought we were on our way to the World Series when we finished up dinner last night and jumped in the Suburban....all we needed were some giant foam fingers and a big paper tray full of nachos. Our little athlete was all pumped up after a few laps sprinting the length of the house to warm up. "I'm practicing my running," she had said as she clomped by in her cleats, followed by Isaac clomping by with his gigantic flipper-feet, and Adam toddling unsteadily-but just as determined-right behind.
The game was what you'd basically expect from a group of 12 5-year olds. It looked like the Bad News Bears gone horribly wrong....kids sitting in the outfield, forgetting which base to run to, deciding to join the defense and grab the ball in the middle of running the bases...you know, your basic kindergarten T-ball game. Except they weren't the Bad News Bears, they were the Fireants. How's that for a team mascot?
But Kalena was determined to play her best. Here she is in her "ready position:"
I swear, she stayed in this very position through the whole game. When other kids were kicking the dirt and picking up leaves, Kalena was in the "ready position." The irony is that in her position in left field, she had no action. Most kids hit little dribblers right to the pitcher position, or the occasional ball that made it to outfield managed to bobble right up the middle. But there she stayed, a picture of determination in her "ready position." When she finally was able to outrun some of the other kiddos and grab a ball that went to deep center, you wouldn't believe the gun on that girl. She hurled it all the way from the outfield right to the first-baseman. Even some of the other dads looked our way and said, "what an arm..." and "she sure gunned it in there, didn't she?" with just a hint of jealousy in their voices. Heh...
Then it was time to bat. Of course, this is what Kalena had been looking forward to her whole life, to hear her talk. Her first two rounds at bat were pretty good, she had hits that went past the pitching mound. But her final at-bat, well, it was awesome. Here she is getting ready to hit:
And now the moment of truth:
And this is her rounding second, heading to third after she just smashed one all the way to deep center. If it had been a "real" game, it definitely would've been a home run...they just stopped her at third since she wasn't the last batter of the inning.
As she trucked into third, her coach said, "great hit, Kalena!" And in classic Kalena style, she merely grinned a smug little grin and replied, "I know." Now that's my girl.