I didn't grow up being on a team. Not that I wasn't a "team player", it just didn't seem an option. Other than softball, I don't know what the options were for girls. I read, I drew, I fantasized. There weren't teams for that. I didn't play sports. It was okay; it wasn't weird.
Sam, 9 yrs. old, is getting into baseball. It's interesting to watch boys who aren't quite "buddies" give those tentative pats of encouragement before each bat. Sam is not a touchy-feely guy, but he gives his teammates several pats on the shoulder before they go out to bat. It's sweet to me. It's almost like a secret world that adults aren't privy to. I doubt that he could say why he does it. It is just what he does. And it's good.
I've learned more about baseball this weekend than I ever thought I wanted to know. One, I learned that I liked the young ump and did not like the big bellied ump. I learned, for the most part, you always play first base for the Out. I'm wrestling with learning something about tagging and outs that seem to fly in the face of justice. And I learned that on a hot summer day it's really quite relaxing to stand in the shade and cheer for 9 year olds to slide and catch a break when they can.