Every parent has their own strengths and weaknesses they bring to the co-parenting table. I can help whip up a book report, swim the fly, and memorize lines for the school play. Those are my core strengths. Tony was the master of math, even common core and fractions, and all hand eye coordination sports.
Most of us have some weird skill or lesson, we missed learning as a kid. Somehow, I never learned how to catch a ball. I squeeze my eyes closed and hope for the best. I even duck at hibachi restaurants when they try and throw shrimp at me. Hand eye coordination is not my best foot forward. I have a friend whose daughter missed learning about the planetary system because they moved around a lot. A close family member never learned how to dive and said by the time they realized everyone else knew how they were too embarrassed to ask.
This is just another reason why I miss Tony and parenting together. Making up for each other’s shortcomings and the helping hands.
My youngest has been really frustrated with his performance at his baseball games the last few weeks. He holds it together on the field but once we get in the car, he starts crying. He doesn’t feel like he’s helping his team enough. I can feel his desire to be a better player. Last week on the way home he expressed how he wishes his brothers would come outside and play baseball with him. He wants to practice batting and play catch. However, neither of his brothers played baseball as long and they don’t care for it.
As he sat in the backseat of the car and cried, it dawned on me. He’s not just crying because he wants to play ball with someone in the backyard. He’s crying because he wants to have his dad here to help him. This is his way of grieving Tony, and this is why he’s been so upset the last few weeks after his games. I don’t think he has even put the pieces together, but this is why it hurts. Every other kid on his team can ask their dad to go out back and practice.
I silently cried with him in the front as I drove us home. This was a time where I knew my tears would make his stop. If this is how he expels the grief, then I want to give him the space to get the full release. When we got home, I gave him the biggest hug. I promised I’d look into baseball lessons over the winter and that I would take him to the batting cages. It’s the best I can do for him.
I can’t fix his heartache, but I can give him the space to grieve. All while loving him as hard as I can and outsource the help. He’s already a better ball player than I ever was.