Tag Archives: bat boy

Lucky Kid

IMG_3273e.jpgTonight we took Drew and his friend Jason to a charity hockey game in Newark. Rutgers Medical School “Medwings  vs Bitewings” – (Doctors vs Dentists.) This year’s game supported Smiles Across Bangladesh, a fund that provides aid to children and adults afflicted with oral and maxillofacial disorders in Bangladesh. Friends of ours have a son who we have known since he was a little kid. That little kid, is now a doctor and plays for the Medwings so we go to support him and the charity.

Drew looks forward to this game every year, partly because it is fun but mostly because of “Chuck a Puck.” This year, he was a winner again and so was his friend!

For those of you who don’t follow Drew’s lucky sport streak, it is a bit uncanny. He has caught or won so many things I have lost track! He has a World Series ball, 1995 team signed NJ Devils stick, game worn Devils jerseys, baseball cards, broken baseball bats from when he was a BatBoy with the Newark Bears, too many baseballs to count, and so many game used hockey sticks, we could build a small shed in the yard with them. At least three New York Giants have given him their gloves after games ….and after tonight, he has a team signed NY Islanders cap to add to his collection.

Somehow tonight some of that luck rubbed off on his buddy who won an autographed hockey puck but as for my puck, which I had him toss for me, that of course was not a winner.We have tried giving him money to buy us lottery tickets, but unfortunately the luck doesn’t transfer to us. Maybe when he’s old enough to buy lottery tickets of his own someday, he will remember us when he is a big winner!!

Where Did it Go??

summer redo 

What happened to summer? How can it be Labor Day already?  The “official” end of summer.  I don’t even felt like there was a summer this year.  We were lucky to have avoided the heat and humidity that New Jersey is famous for.  That was actually a blessing!  Yesterday and today have been most humid days of the summer but because of that, it really felt like summer never arrived.

Since I work for most of the summer, I don’t get the “summers off” like many people believe teachers get every year.  Working through the first week of August and then having this procedure that has kept me off my foot, (well it was supposed to keep me off my foot,) took up the whole summer!  This kept me from the pool.  It has been three weeks since I went there.  That may also be a part of why summer didn’t seem “real” this year.  We used to call our pool the bargain of the summer because we were there nearly everyday.  Now, I have to drag my kids to come along!

This happens to me every year.  I think I am going to get soooooo much done, but don’t.  Yet, now, as I sit back and recap the summer, we may not have traveled much, but we did do quite a bit.  College tours, summer baseball for Drew, concerts in the park, get together with friends and lots of photography work filled our days.  It was our first summer without The Newark Bears around. Unfortunately that organization folded during the year.  Drew had been a batboy for them for several years.  Many, many of our summer nights were spent at the ball park.  I missed that more than I realized.  We did take in a few minor leagues games at other fields though.  That was fun.  It is always something the boys love to do.

One thing we didn’t get the time to do was visit the Poconos or go down the shore.  Hopefully, September will stay warm enough for us to maybe get a day on the beach before it gets too cold.  We live so close and never took advantage of it this year.

The sleeping in and going to bed late has been nice though.  My boys are going to have the toughest time readjusting to that.  There are always conflicting feelings at this time of year.   Not feeling ready to go back to work, but excited at the same time because I get to start a new school year with a fresh bunch of children. Even Drew said that today at breakfast.  He told me how “weird” it felt to be excited and disappointed at the same time.   He wants to go back to school and meet his new teachers and see his friends, but isn’t quite ready for the school work and rigor to begin. 

So, since we can’t stop time… bring on the new school year!!

Finding the Good Moments in 2013


Yesterday I tried to sum up 2013 in my blog.  A rough year, but there were still a lot of happy moments so today, I am going to share some photos of “The Best of 2013” because despite all the sadness we experienced, there were still a lot of really good moments.

We celebrated Father’s Day and all the great dads in our lives!IMG_2846

Although I was not a big fan of them, the cicada out break this spring was pretty interesting.IMG_8473

The new porch construction was a great addition to the house!IMG_9896

Celebrating dad’s 68th birthday with the family was a great day.IMG_9588e

DJ getting his driver’s permitIMG_3214

A quick overnight to Atlantic City with a few of my coworkers.IMG_3067

Visiting my college roommatesIMG_8598

Drew graduating from elementary school.IMG_8777e

Grammy turning 98IMG_9475

Mud Runs like The Dirty Girl IMG_2991e and The Muck Fest!IMG_2842

Drew and baseball, baseball, baseball!  Playing, watching and being a batboy for The Newark Bears. IMG_3212

and truly there were so many, many more.  Including joining the coaching group I am in where I have made some amazing friends this year, spending tons of time with extended family…I could truly go on and on.  Sadly, those terrible moments of 2013 have overshadowed the good ones, but when we looked back upon this year, it was really nice to find so many happy memories amongst the sad ones.  I am looking forward to making more happy ones in 2014!

Happy New Year!

“America’s Game”


It is the last week of summer vacation, at least for me.  The kids don’t go back to school until September 9th.  I return next Tuesday.  I will be in and out of school this week trying to get my classroom ready for a new batch of Kindergarteners.  I look forward to this time of year every year, although I find the first two months of Kindergarten the hardest two months of the entire year.  I am never as exhausted as I am in September!

Our last week of Summer will be filled with a lot of baseball.  Drew will be performing his bat boy duties for the last few games of The Newark Bears Season.  There is a game every day or night this week!  He cannot get to all of these games though because he has his own practices to attend for Fall Ball.  We put out an “all-call” on Facebook to all of our friends and family to join us for a game if they are around.  Tonight, my sister and her family are going and my dad will join us as well.    I know that Drew self-esteem is boosted when others show up to see him hard at work!

He has such dreams of seeing himself out on the field as a player some day.  We have been watching The Little League World Series all week.  Drew is astonished at what some of these boys are capable of doing.  His mood swings from awe, disbelief and wonder, to him being completely down on himself because he feels inadequate and not good enough.  But despite how he feels about himself as he watches, he critiques, evaluates and gives his own commentaries throughout each game.  He is glued to the television and does his own “research” on line to see what he can find out about the players, teams and their equipment.  Now, if only I get him to be so enthusiastic about school…

A Day at the Ball Park


This afternoon, I spent the day at a Newark Bears game.  Drew was one of the bat boys and there are a lot of games over the next few weeks so I plan to be spending a lot of my time there.  Sadly, the Bears have not been able to draw a lot of fans but I wound up sitting next to a girl and her grandpa.  I first noticed them buying their tickets at the box office.  The girl was so animated!  She was talking loudly and telling her grandpa how excited she was to be at a baseball game.  Her grandpa was beaming as he witnessed her excitement.  I smiled at them and got my ticket but realized I had left my umbrella in the car.  It was drizzling so I ran back to the car before I went into the stadium.

I got to my seat, which was in the front row behind home plate.  A great seat, but really due to the lack of attendance, you can sit anywhere.  I usually don’t get settled in my seat until I know if Drew will be the bat boy for the Bears or the away team.  He came out and told me that he’d be working for the Bears so I stayed in my seat.   A few minutes later, the girl and her grandpa came down and sat a few seats away from me in the same row.  The girl could not contain herself she was so enthusiastic!  She remarked on how empty the stands were but told her grandpa she was so happy that they got there early so that he could get her such great seats.

She knew so much about baseball!  She followed every play of the game.  She cheered for the players by their numbers or their names.  She yelled to the umpire when the fans thought he missed a play at the plate.  She knew all of the terms and even cheered for the player who made a “pick off” to cause an out.

Throughout the game, she kept telling her grandpa just how happy she was and I heard her thank him over and over again.  Partially through the game, she began talking to me.  She told me her name and asked me mine.  She introduced me to her grandpa.  She asked me why they did not have many fans there, (to which I had no answer).  She told me that she was from Pennsylvania and was visiting her grandpa while her parents were on a vacation.  She told me all of the fun things they had been doing.   She told me about her school and she was not there because it was summer I told her that I was a teacher and I was not there for the same reason.

She smiled through the whole game and it was contagious.  I could not help but to listen to her and talk with her and smile.  It made me enjoy the game even more than usual.  When she heard that Drew was the bat boy, she clapped her hands with excitement.   Being so close to the field, and having so few fans there, the players could hear her cheering for them.  Drew is not allowed to give away balls during a game.  Sometimes the balls get really scuffed up and cannot be used.  There was one of those balls today that had been tossed to him by the umpire.  Between innings, Drew passed her the ball and you would have thought she had just won the lottery!  She was beaming from ear to ear!

You might be wondering why I chose to write about this in my blog today. I actually debated with myself whether or not to even write about it and what made me doubt myself because I don’t  like to attach a stigma to anyone. The girl I have been writing about, had special needs.  She had Down’s Syndrome.  She told me that she was 18 years old.  Not a little girl at all.  An adult in fact.  Working with all sorts of children for most of my life, I have become aware of how some people treat people with special needs.  Some stare, some show pity, some are unable to see past the disability.  Some are narrow-minded and have no idea of their talents. No one should ever be judged by how their brain works, or how they walk, or talk, or look. This girl was acting like any other “abled” person – because she was “abled”.  She was much more knowledgeable than I was about baseball.  I learned from her today.   None of us should judge another person and I did not want this to come across that way.  I was just so completely charmed by this young lady’s fascination with baseball!  We talked through a few innings and her enthusiasm was contagious.   I began cheering for the players along with her.  I loved seeing the joy on her grandpa’s face as we clapped and cheered.  It made me really appreciate how the little things in life really are not so little.

Happy Father’s Day


Happy Father’s Day to all the dads – especially to my own dad and to Dave.

We spent Father’s Day rather quietly.  Dave plays soccer on Sunday mornings, so this Sunday was no different.  It is his favorite way to spend his Sundays!!  We then met up with my dad, brothers, grandma and sister’s family at a local pub for brunch.  Then Drew, who is bat boy for The Newark Bears, had an afternoon game, so we got to spend our afternoon relaxing at the ballpark.  Tonight, Dave had a softball game.  He’s been playing on a team with a bunch of guys he’s known for years.  The team has had numerous members over the years, but it started when he was a senior in high school, and a bunch of the same guys still play.   While he had his game, I took the boys to my aunt and uncle’s house, where the rest of the family met up again for pizzas and some swimming in their pool.

For my dad, I am sure it was a sad day without my  mom around, but he was kept busy with brunch and dinner, plus he got so see my niece in her recital so he spent the afternoon with the other two grand kids.  His favorite thing to do is spend time with family.  That has always been what is most important to him…”Family Time”.

What better way to spend for Dave and my dad to spend their Fathers’ Days – doing what they love and being with their family.  It is a day that is well deserved.