The big question for many of us, and one we see being asked, debated, and argued over all over social media and beyond, is…. Is Softball Essential?
Of course you could replace the word ‘softball’ with just about anything right now. Such as work, baseball, graduation, SCHOOL, haircuts, actual visits to the doctors, grocery shopping, vacation, going to the bank, lacrosse, track, mulching the yard, the playground…You get the point.
It’s been about 6’ish weeks since we have all adjusted best we can, to sheltering in place, or quarantine as many like to call it. In these weeks, there has been LOTS to worry about for families, children included. They were ripped from the lives they know and loved, and lots of endings happened quickly without any form of preparedness. One day they were practicing with their teammates, given new uniforms and the next they were faced with a sea of uncertainties and “I don’t Knows.” And still today, the “I don’t knows” continue. Because truth is, we still don’t know what is going on or what is going to happen. These are truly historic times.
If you ask our kids whether softball is essential or not, the answer will likely be yes. They miss their sports, and their friends, and their social life. They miss the competition. They miss working hard for something and putting on a jersey and having something that makes coming home from school and rushing down dinner worth it. For so many of our girls, softball is very likely on their essential list.
As adults, we try to explain and rationale the differences between life and death and how in the large scope of things softball is not, definitely NOT the most important thing. But maybe that is not the right thing to do. Maybe we shouldn’t be teaching our kids to lay down what they love, to label it as non-essential, to make it seem or feel ‘less than’ important so easily. Maybe we should want them to fight for what THEY feel is essential to THEIR LIVES.
We seem to forget that for our kids, they aren’t supposed to be thinking about life or death. They aren’t supposed to be worried about dirty hands or hugging their friends or thinking that kissing their grandpa on the cheek will be the reason that he dies, or that if mom goes to the grocery store she may die of some virus.
They are kids after all, who should be ENTITLED to that very limited time on Earth where you feel blissfully invincible from everything bad (except for maybe a deadly changeup). Why did we we feel like it was okay, to put huge monsters under their bed and then turn the lights off and tell them to go to sleep.
Why is it, was it ever okay – to tell them that the things in their lives are not important or essential? Especially after many of us have spent years instilling work ethic to match their passion.
To our girls, who have went through tryouts, and practiced during the off season, and tried on uniforms, and spent time at lessons or practice, who have set goals, who have laid in bed at night excited about their next game – dreaming of hitting a dinger or scoring a wining run, or who are maybe about to participate in their very last season – ending a childhood of playing ball on Saturdays, SOFTBALL IS ESSENTIAL.
Sports and exercise, interests and hobbies are essential to a life well lived.
It is OKAY, to want that back, and we should not be guilting anyone by telling them that wanting to play softball equates to them wanting someone to die, or being uncaring unempathetic selfish people.
It, softball, is essential to their health, and well-being. It is essential to their growth as humans, and their feelings of self worth. Their sports are essential to who they are, and who they want to become. To their dreams. Softball is essential to their friendship groups, and their deepest emotional needs to be socialized and accepted by their peers and have a sense of belonging to something bigger than themselves. It is essential to their feeling good about their accomplishments. It is essential to their lessons of working hard for results, perseverance and personal accountability.
For our children, their routines in life make them feel safe and secure. The things they know and love, that are part of childhood, that they look forward to, that they are excited about- are in fact, in this OPINION, ESSENTIAL!
So – yes to essential.
OBVIOUSLY, softball can take a temporary back seat to the overall health of the citizens of our country. If school is cancelled,and people aren’t going to work and are losing their jobs, if people are losing their lives and we cannot even carry on with our routine behaviors – then softball, along with all extra curricular activities, are and should be halted as well. No one is debating that.
But we should not call them non-essential. In fact their sheer essential-ness should be what motivates ALL OF US to work together to reopen America.
It in fact, should stregnthen our gratitude for our FREEDOM, so that we may continue to call things in our lives that we love – whether softball or a quilting club ESSENTIAL.
For those of that want to play, for the kids of ours that feel sorrow or sadness over the loss of something they love, who miss their teams and coaches and who are grieving because of uncertainty – it is ok. In fact, it is normal. If we aren’t grieving for and longing for and striving for the lives we had before this pandemic hit – what kind of life did we have then?
Isn’t it okay to want our lives full of freedom and liberty and ballparks and work and packed coolers and homeruns and strikeouts and uniforms back? Doesn’t that mean, that we were living well? That our kids were happy?
The word essential, by definition means = extremely important, absolutely necessary!
Don’t we want our kids to feel this sort of passion, this desire and want for the things they love and work hard for in life? To feel that they are ESSENTIAL….
Maybe you agree. Maybe you feel differently. But for us, and many of our friends life well lived includes softball – and for so many of the kids we know, the sports they love are essential. Sure, they can live without them, especially for a spell – but why would they want to?