The stadium lights, crack of a bat, the smell of a glove, roar of a crowd on a warm summer night filled with laughter. Baseball was always such a prominent part of my childhood, to be able to experience these nights with my own kids always seems to feel like this marriage between past and the present in a great culmination of the celebration of life. This past Wednesday, seeming to be another summer night at the ball field to most, was in fact anything but ordinary. You see, my son Noah passed level 8 and began level 9 with smiles, laughter with family and friends.
This road has not been an easy one but it has brought us to the absolutely amazing city of Louisville. Our family affectionately calls it our big little city though it has never been anything but little in our hearts. Louisville is so inviting and welcoming to our family, with her intimate bridges, museums, fields, the lights, and most of all the people. Louisville had our heart from the beginning and it was no surprise when my son asked to spend his birthday at the Louisville Bats game. For three years now we have been regularly attending games to cheer on our home team. As a single mom, and constantly on a budget, it was a perfect fit. The Bats offer the Kids Club in which children receive free general admission into home games played on Sunday, kids eat free and the kids (and parents!!) get to run the bases afterwards. It’s become a frequented place so much that some of the workers recognize my children and they feel safe and at home.
The game, which fell on my sons birthday, was not in our mini season ticket prices but that didn’t not prohibit us from being able to creatively trade in tickets to make my sons birthday request come true. It also started the ball rolling from just going to a game into the birthday party package, and also getting to throw out the first pitch at the game.
Standing on the sidelines and watching my son take the field I couldn’t help but see him as the boy he is and the man he will become. Feeling the warm summer breeze that gently danced through the stadium. Listening to the cheering of the crowd, the giggles from his sisters, and watching the boy that stood in the middle of the diamond, unafraid and fearless in pursuit of embracing the moment. How is it possible that this boy could captivate my heart the way that he does? A boy that seemed so small taking the field was seemingly so tall in stature. What we were all witnessing on the field was a pitch perfect moment. My son was at one with life and the song reverberated through Slugger Field. While the pitch itself could have been viewed as not perfect, say in the form or the accuracy, however the moment, oh that moment, absolutely was. As my son ran back to me from the pitcher’s mound I could see the survivor inside of him and that childlike spirit I’ve fought hard to keep intact was radiating from his heart across the sky; and in his laughter I could hear it… hope. It always existed throughout this journey and will continue to lead us on this path of ahead. Life has thrown this kid a lot of curveballs. He was born into a world of domestic violence and he’s become a fighter and a survivor of abuse. While dealt such a harsh hand that continues to throw obstacles at him… he’s thriving. He’s living. He could chose to let being a survivor of domestic violence jade his view of the world and he would have every right. But this boy, very simply put, is the bravest boy I have ever met.
To our city, thank you so much for celebrating Noah’s birthday with us. To the Louisville Bats, thank you for your support and love for your community and showing inclusion to
This past Wednesday was so much more than just baseball. It was about a field of dreams and a community meeting a young boy there.
Thank you Louisville.
For more information about the kids club or to celebrate a birthday with the bats please visit https://www.milb.com/louisville
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