I think every parent has dreams for their children. Some dreams were present before the baby was in our arms, and other dreams have slowly developed over time. Some dreams are light-hearted, whereas others are earnest.
From the moment we found out we were having a boy, my husband began to dream of playing catch with our son.
He began “educating” our son on the nuances of baseball as early as in the post-partum unit at the hospital (pictures of the two “watching the play-offs” can be produced as evidence).
Over time, my sweet boy has gone from well-educated and devoted fan to committed player, thus nurturing my husband’s extended pipe dream of an MLB player in the family tree. Our son does pretty well on the field and on the mound, as those positions seem somewhat instinctual to him. But at the plate, he has struggled more and is honest when asked, saying that batting isn’t his favorite part of the game.
To make up for it, he spends a lot of time focused on the mechanics of this skill.
He’s had lessons with hitting coaches, spent countless hours in batting cages at local facilities, and I cannot count the number of balls that have rolled down the hill and into the storm drain as he does “tee work.” He and my husband can often be found with a tee and a net in the driveway, focused on getting a rhythm down, finding and feeling proper form. The end goal is for body and muscle memory to take over – for my son to stop worrying about if the bat is in the right place and if his feet are the right width apart.
The result will just be effortless.
While recently observing their efforts, I realized how closely this mirrors the prayer life that we both want for our children.
We want them to instinctively find the right form. We repeat prayers. We follow the church’s cycle of liturgy with our readings in mass. Every mass has the same rituals. We celebrate feast days on a recurring basis. All of these faith mechanics should be helping their spiritual muscle memory.
My husband and I dream of a relationship that our children will develop with our Lord, that maybe won’t be effortless, but will be easier because they have found their rhythm, will know how to approach Him, and will be confident in the relationship that has been built over time.
Will we have an MLB playing kiddo? Probably not. Will we have children who know, love and serve their Savior? A mom can dream, can’t she?