Yesterday, we reached 170K fans on Facebook. We can remember when we just started all of this – the website, the store, the social media campaigns – never really knowing what it would lead to – tons of naysayers at our backs.. Just knowing that as a family raising 4 daughters, who loved softball – the inequities in community and resources were astounding, we wanted to make a difference.
So, Six years ago, Softball is For Girls was launched, with just a few hundred followers and today we are a huge community of people who share the love of the sport, and one another. Our tagline “empowering the coaches, players, parents and FANS of fastpitch softball” has remained our mission. Sometimes we may fall short, but we are always trying.
We are thankful for each of you. We are even thankful for the ones that correct our grammar, and nit-pick our posts. We are thankful for the people who take the time to hit the *like and share* button, who put up with our emails, and that read our blog posts. We are thankful for the amazing fan-shares that give us a glimpse into your lives, the questions and all the people who support our community by giving their advice and helping others and sharing their ‘truths’ and experiences with the group. We know the vast majority of y’all just scroll and read – and we are thankful for you too….
Because the reality with anything in life, is that it is the PEOPLE that matter most.
When the day comes that you fold up your folding chair for the very last time, no matter where you have traveled, how many trophies or medals you have won, regardless of how many tournaments you have played in or the awards that you have gathered – it will be the PEOPLE and the relationships that you have met and made along the way that mattered most.
It will be the other softball parent that tested your limits of patience and sanity, the coach that drove you nuts, the person who sat next to you at softball games, the girls that spent the night at your house – many of them moved on and onto new chapters in their lives, the crazy and odd and fun-loving and insane people. The mean and sweet, the snobby and friendly, the good umpires and the bad umpires, the coach that pushed your daughter to be more than she ever thought she could be, the person you vent to when you are abiding by the 24 hour rule, the lady you met in the bathroom, the vendor that sold you sno-cones at your favorite park, the late night packing up tent partners, the tournament director who always said nice things about your daughter, the softball mom you could always turn to for everything from a needle to a band-aid, the crazy moments you’ve witnessed on the field, the cow-bell wielding obnoxious parents from the opposing team…these will be what you remember. Even the people you would rather forget, will eventually make their way into a dinnertime conversation in the coming years – bringing laughter and good memories flooding back to you.
The trophies you have gained along the way, the certificates, the jerseys, the hats and t-shirts and physical tokens of what you have been doing with your life for the last decade or so – they will eventually make their way into a trash-can or a hope chest, or a plastic box that gets sealed up and put away, pulled out every once in a while as a matter of nostalgia.
But the people, the memories, the love and relationships….they will never leave you (even if we wish they would sometimes)
We help one another grow. We help one another parent. Teammates and coaches and umpires and all the people who give of their time at the parks across the country help our daughters become the young woman that they are now. Each one making them somehow stronger or braver.
After all, they say it takes a village, and one of the best villages we know of, is set up weekly with pop up shade tents, coolers and folding chairs at the softball fields. It is our village. It is that place where we can be ourselves, and enjoy watching our children grow up. It is a place where our kids can get away from all the pressures that they face in today’s world that is so complicated and stressful. Where they can just be kids and find themselves and make friendships, and learn how to fit in and find their place in this big world we live in.
It is home. And this is what matters most….
So while it’s not July, and it’s not really time for us to launch a new design, we couldn’t help but launch this one to celebrate reaching 170K fans! We believe that this pretty much sums it all up, and is what matters most of all. We have also put in on sale for the first 170 customers to buy for just $11.
Out of every and any message we could possibly send to any player, parent, fan, or coach – this pretty much sums it up. Friends gather no dust. What matters most is the people…..