Nathan loves baseball season. This year in particular it is more so because he has reached an age where friends are very important. He has spent most of his days playing with his baseball friends. He loves it. He could stay at the baseball fields all day. Granted, we have a really nice field set-up that is more like a park, including a creek, lots of evergreens, snakes, ants, beetles and lots of lovely grass fields. Perfect for boys.
And then there have been many sleepovers, his absolute favorite. He stays at people's houses and vice versa. Treuce, Aidan, Gavin, and Logan are all baseball buddies who have slumbered together on various occasions.
They also like to go and do things together but it doesn't take much to entertain boys at this age. Throw in a couple of Nerf guns, and you are golden. Some food and some ice water. They are good to go for hours.
On this particular occasion, Nathan and Aidan went to Aidan's grandparents' house for an outdoor movie night AND marshmallow roasting. Just look at the smiles on the boys' faces. Happy as can be. Aidan is a very nice and courteous young man and an amazing little ball player. He's worked hard all over the winter to improve is game and he sure has made huge strides. It is amazing to see the difference to last year. He is also a great friend and very skilled in interpersonal relationships, especially when they become more difficult. He seems to be the only child out of all the baseball boys who can easily navigate difficult interpersonal situations. He has a very lovely family (Tanya, Brooke, Gabe) who has just been through a very difficult year. Among other hard to deal with situations, their beloved soon-to-be son-in-law drowned a year and a half ago while being at a local river with Brooke. It has been Tanya's mission to not let Brooke go down into deep depression and she has done a fantastic job. An amazing family. The kind of people who make you better people just by being around them.
Tanya, the mom, has been so very kind to me and her husband Gabe has been a coaching with Dave for two years now. I cherish Tanya's friendship (must be a Tanya thing - Tanya M. being one of my very best friends) and company. She is very quiet but very thoughtful (must be a Tanya thing too). She cares deeply about people.
In the background you also see Bella, their dog. This is Coppers very good friend. :-) The two can play for hours at our house and never get bored. Well, Copper does get tired at the end of the night. He is an old man at four years of age .
We've had many of the kids' parents over, just talking while the kids all play. They boys love being left to their own devices and while we have a small house, it never seems to bother them. They built forts (some things never change...) and attack one another with Nerf guns. They re-shuffle teams and weapons frequently and seem to have a great sense of fairness.
It is lovely to see your child run around with a big smile on his face and just having the best of time with friends, no worry in the world. It is also nice when they are able to play at your house and you get to know their friends and their families. It is one of the things I miss when baseball season is over and one of the very aspects that makes Little League great.