Growing up, my dad was always my baseball coach. Until I entered high school, he was my only coach (aside from the occasional All-Star team), but this isn’t a story about my dad. You see one day, I don’t remember why, my dad couldn’t make it to baseball practice and so my mom stepped in to lead it. It’s possible she only stepped in for a portion of it, I don’t remember much about that practice, except for one scene that stands out in my mind.
It was batting practice and my mom, as the stand-in coach, was pitching. I was batting. She threw me a pitch. I hit the pitch. And scorched a screaming line-drive right back at her, drilling her in the thigh. Obviously I felt horrible. I mean, I had just whacked a baseball off the leg of the woman who played Monopoly with me when I was sick; the woman who knew my favorite property on the board was (for some inexplicable reason) Pennsylvania Rail Road; the woman who let me miscount so I could land on it, even though she and I both knew full well that I was miscounting intentionally.
I hope I ran out to check on her and felt completely wretched, but I don’t really recollect anything other than the quick 2 seconds of the pitch being thrown and the result. Though maybe that’s not quite true. I do seem to remember my mom soldiering on and finishing batting practice. And whether that part really happened or not, I most certainly believe that it did, because that’s the kind of thing my mom would do.
You know why? Because my mom is awesome. 100%, without reservation, without caveat, awesome. And you know something else? Today’s her birthday.
So, happy birthday to the woman who has blessed me, taken care of me, stood up for me, and loved me all the days of my life. I love you too and I hope the rest of Sarah Shaeffer Day is an absolute joy.