Brian Bailey Preface to the Revised Edition

Birthday and Baseball

Today was one of those truly great, truly blessed days. Ben had his second baseball game of the season in the morning. Though it quickly became very hot (after 11 years I really shouldn't be surprised by steaming Septembers anymore) the game was fun and relatively fast moving. The games last 90 minutes at this age, which is typically 3-4 innings. Ben was scheduled to pitch in the fourth inning, but it didn't seem likely that the game would make it that far. The third inning was over before we knew it, though, and with enough time to start another inning, Ben went in to pitch for the first time!

It was an amazing experience for him and for us. When you pitch in a Little League game, all eyes are on you for the entire time, since very little else is going on. So, for about 10 minutes, our little corner of the world sat and watched Ben pitch. He did a great job! He struck out the first batter, walked the next, and then struck out the next two. He ran off the field with a huge grin on his face and gave me a high-five. It was great fun to watch.

The evening brought Ben's 9th birthday party. Lori and Ben had come up with a brilliant idea last year for a party - a hotel sleepover. His three best friends met us at a local hotel for 15 hours of swimming, pizza, movies, and glow-in-the-dark party favor fun. This was easily the most relaxing, low-maintenance, and unique party that we've had. Ben, of course, loved all of the time with his friends and getting to choose much of the fun. He picked doughnuts (!) for his birthday dessert and Holes for the evening's entertainment.

We've heard from a few people that this idea sounds like an extravagance, but in the age of bounce houses, as well as fire department, water park and skate park parties, this turned out be a fairly inexpensive and terribly easy way to celebrate a birthday. It also helps that we only have one child!