If you’ve been here a while, you know that Number 3 is my worrier.
He’s got some significant anxiety and OCD related issues.
He worries about what other people think.
He worries about doing things the wrong way.
He worries about Number 4 being better than him.
He worries about the car breaking down.
Or the bus breaking down.
In fact, he performs rituals on the bus ride home from school to “ensure” that it doesn’t break down.
He has major fears about being trapped in the locker room.
Especially one he’s never been in before.
We are finding ways to cope with these fears, but it may always be a struggle for him.
As a result of all this, Number 3 can be a little socially awkward.
He’s genetically nervous.
And unsure of himself.
And constantly comparing himself to his siblings.
He doesn’t have that internal self-esteem that Number 4 has naturally.
So he’s awkwardly finding his way.
Every once in a while, a glimmer of real self-confidence shines through.
Occasionally when he’s swimming.
And often when he’s playing baseball.
He loves baseball.
And when he’s playing,
sometimes that worrying voice in his head is very, very small.
It’s hard to know that your kid has that voice in his head.
Especially if you’ve ever had it yourself.
Self-doubt, and lack of self-confidence,
And it’s hard to know that even if you can help to give him the tools to shut that voice up,
your kid has to be the one to use them.
You are pretty much powerless.
Last night was Number 3’s first official travel baseball game.
It was against a team that was apparently really good last year.
they destroyed our team.
So a lot of the boys who played last year were intimidated.
None of them really batted well.
The first 2 innings were three up, three down.
This is Number 3’s first year playing travel baseball.
So he didn’t really know the history.
When his turn at bat came up, he walked up to the plate.
He let the first pitch go by.
Which he usually does.
He swung at the second one.
And he hit the living daylights out of it.
He got a triple.
And when the other team tried to make a play and waaaay overthrew the ball to third,
my kid ran home.
Was it a true homerun?
But it was to Number 3.
There is no possible way to accurately describe the look on my child’s face.
It was pure joy.
And motherfucking confidence like I have never seen.
I said motherfucking.
Because it was a big.
In eight years,
I have never seen that look on his face.
That voice inside his head,
if even for those few moments,
Not just small.
But completely extinguished.
He was the King of the Fucking World as he crossed that plate.
I wanted to scream,
and do back handsprings,
and hire an airplane to write it across the sky.
But I just stood there and bawled.
Like a baby.
Because the feeling he had when he stepped on that plate is something that I have always wanted to be able to give him.
But I know I can’t.
It’s something he has to find for himself.
And he found it last night.
As he walked up to the plate the next time he was up to bat,
he looked at the crowd,
I heard a dad say,
“That kid’s got swagger.”
Fuck you tiny voice.
Number 3 and I?
We’re gonna get rid of you for good.
One home run at a time.
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