Staley has always been a sports enthusiast. From before she was one, she has enjoyed watching other people play sports. She stays glued to the excitement of watching her older cousins play soccer, football, t-ball, and basketball. She loved going to track meets last spring. She watches the Bears on TV (although that could be more related to the fact that the TV is on and, therefore, must be watched.) And this spring, she discovered a new interest. College boys. More specifically, college boys playing baseball.
A few weeks ago, we were enjoying one of the rare spring days in April by playing outside on the porch. We heard some music and an announcer, so of course, Staley was curious. Judging from the direction the sounds were coming from, I deduced that it was probably a college baseball game. Staley was intrigued, so I strapped on Adelie, put Staley in her stroller, and off we went. Staley sat in her stroller, entranced by the game. She asked questions, and kept talking about the pitcher throwing, the catcher catching, and the batter 'hitting the ball up under the clouds.' There was a large, black dog sitting nearby with some college girls and seeing Staley glance over, they asked if she wanted to pet it. Surprisingly, Staley told them, "No thanks. I'm watching the baseball game." Staley watched and watched until her hungry little sister made it necessary for us to leave.
We made it for part of another game a week or two later, with Staley demonstrating as much interest as she did the first time. About a week or two ago, we were again playing outside when we heard the music coming from the ballfield. Staley immediately asked to go watch the baseball game, so we headed over. Unfortunately, it was not a baseball game but instead a baseball practice. Staley didn't care, so we pulled up in our usual spot under the tree to watch them practice. (As much as Staley didn't care and was excited to watch them practice, I felt uncomfortable as I'm sure the players were wondering what the cougar with the 2 kids was doing scoping out their baseball practice.) Nevertheless, it was all worth it as the highlight for Staley came when one of the baseball players came up the hill to talk with Staley and give her an official baseball. She didn't let go of her baseball for the rest of the day.
Unfortunately for us, the cold, wet spring kept us from seeing many games and the high school and college seasons are now over. On the plus side, Staley's cousins will start their summer sports very soon. And even if we just go to watch them practice, Staley will be thrilled...and I won't feel awkward about it at all.