Blogs by Leslie P Garcia
Following Through: The Piñata Debacle
12/28/2006 1:13:45 PM
Never much of an athlete, my skills have waned. Should I be teaching Piñata 101? On granddaughters, batting practice, and the New Year…
I played softball when I was—I don’t know. Younger. I can’t remember the name of the team I was on, but we played the Douglasville Swingers for the City Championship and lost. They had a wonderful pitcher named Rosemond and a catcher who tried to bash my head in. I probably deserved that, me and the green wienie. But that’s not what this blog is about.
On December 26th, the third of my now four grandchildren turned one. She’s cute, all of them are, but the oldest, Hermione, is a remarkable 3 year old who knows germs make one sick, uses the word “several” appropriately, and told my first graders to sit down, be quiet, and listen to grandma.
Because of Christmas, the birthday girl only had family present, and we had two uncles pretending to be trees and hold up a tiny piñata. Since the only kids hacking at the colorful star were 3, 1, 1, and 10 months, there seemed little chance that the thing would break open and spill its goodies so the uncles could let go of the rope.
About that time, someone remembered that I used to brag of my softball prowess. Of less than average speed, I, too, usually caught, but was fairly good at first base and really good in the outfield against weak teams that didn’t hit much. I was a fairly good hitter, though—my brother taught me to pull the ball, and to keep from having to run, I tried to hit the ball way beyond any fielders. Even in those days, most of the girly-type girls wouldn’t exert themselves in the muggy Georgia heat, so a ball past second pretty much equaled a home run.
Someone suggested I show Hermione how to hit the piñata really hard so we could finish things. Unfortunately, the remark was delivered as a challenge, not a real suggestion. So, of course, I had to prove my abilities hadn’t lessened over the year.
Now, the number 1 rule, according to my memory and years of watching Braves broadcasts, is that you follow through on the swing. I’m not exactly sure anymore what that means, but I talk a good story. Especially to three-year-olds. I positioned our hands on the brightly decorated broomstick, pulled the “bat” back, and blasted the piñata.
No, I did NOT miss. The star swung out, hit Hermione’s dad in the face—hard—and the bat went through its whole spectrum of motion. Out and up.
Unfortunately, Hermione didn’t let go of the stick, and she went out and up—then hit the floor. All in a blur of course. My kids laughed themselves silly and showed each other the video. Wondered whose copy should be sent to America’s Funniest. Hermione, thankfully unhurt, swung the next time all by herself. My homerun swing provided entertainment for the rest of the evening.
But I had followed through. Hey, a ball would have been out of there.
And that made me think we all need to hit a few home runs now and then. Life is all we have, but sometimes we trip over it. Put our dreams aside if they’re not practical, ignore friends or drop the ball of responsibility when we’re rushed. We all break the rule of following through.
Well, I hope we all do. I’d hate to think it was only me. That unfortunate swing, funny as it was since Hermione wasn’t hurt, helped me form my New Year’s resolution a little early this year. In 2007, I will swing harder. I’ll keep my eye on the ball, and I’ll follow through. A whole lot of baseball platitudes, but following through is the one way to assure a better New Year.
And so, to all—a blessed 2007, full of good things. And home runs. In every important part of each of your lives.
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