The Carefree Life of T-Ball
I wrote recently about a book-editing-related venture to Los Angeles. What I didn’t mention in that blog was how the trip put me behind the 8-ball with another book edit that needed some last-minute revisions. When I told the editor my trip would make it impossible to meet the deadline, she extended it a week.
Although that allowed me to focus on the task at hand in LA, it also put me under the gun when I returned. Not only did I face a tight deadline, the revisions turned out to be far more time-consuming than expected.
To make matters worse, the morning it was due I discovered that I had botched the numbering of footnotes in a particular section. That forced me to redo three-fourths of the footnotes for an entire portion of the book.
Taking it in Stride (Not)
If all that weren’t bad enough, I had a question on one issue. Until it was resolved by the editor, I couldn’t finish the revisions. That meant I would be a day late turning everything in.
At this stage of my life, having lived through countless deadlines and “how will I ever get it all done on time?” musings that proved groundless, you’d think I would have learned to take such things in stride. All I can say is I must be a slow learner.
However, the evening that I saw I would need another day to wrap up this book edit—a realization that brought with it the temptation to work late—I went against my natural inclination. With my wife, I took off to watch two of our great-grandchildren play T-ball.
Two years ago, while working on a national magazine feature, I had missed a call from a source on a Friday evening because I had departed for a T-ball game. When we talked the next day, he mentioned my wife telling him about my outing to the game. He remarked, “Ah, T-ball. Life in the South!”
In a world where terrorist attacks are the stuff of daily headlines, controversies threaten to rip apart major political parties, and drug addiction tightens its grip on the nation, it’s easy to get lost in life’s seriousness.
Then there are the stories about people struggling just to keep their financial heads above water. I understand; I’m one of them.
Maybe that’s why I found this particular recent evening’s T-ball game so enjoyable. There was something incredibly refreshing about watching kindergarten- and first-grade-age youngsters frolicking about a diamond, without a care in the world.
Most didn’t really seem to understand baseball; indeed, more focused more attention on the pre- or post-game snack than who was on first.
Aside from the kiddos’ lack of understanding of the sport, there was something else I appreciated at this T-ball game. Namely, these little tykes’ total trust in the adults running things to take care of everything.
They weren’t concerned about school the next day, or what they would have for dinner, or who won (of course, those who know T-ball know there are no winners because no one’s keeping score).
This all reminds me of what a wise man once said: “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?”
That’s a message a T-ball game emphasizes rather nicely.