The last game of any season always makes me cry.
Today’s final game for our Billerica White Sox Tee-Ball Team was no exception.
I nearly cried when it looked like last night’s rain would keep us off the field – and by the time I was done cheering for our kiddos and handing out medals, I had the full waterworks going.
“It’s a big, brave thing to try something new, and that’s what each and every one of you did every single time you showed up to play. We tried new things and we learned a lot, together. Coach loves you SO much and is so unbelievably proud of you. Promise you’ll keep having fun, keep being brave, and keep trying new things?”
Then came more cheers. Lots of hugs. And a few more tearful thank-yous from grateful parents.
By the time we packed up the field, I was beaming. My heart was full and I was elated to be headed up the street to watch a former White Sox hit a real pitch at his final Single A game.
After watching him get to first, a tall, blonde teenage girl touched my arm.
“Hi,” she said.
“Hi,” I said.
“I just wanted to tell you that you’re so pretty. Like SO pretty.”
Standing there in a pair of black (muddy) sweats, a six-year old hoodie, and with my hair in the messiest of pony tails, I gasped.
“Sweetheart,” I said, “you just made my decade. YOU’RE SO PRETTY.”
She looked down. Shook her head, and made a sweeping motion over her face. “No, no. I’m not. I’m really not.”
“You’re beautiful,” I reminded her. “Inside and out. So beautiful inside and out.”
She smiled. “Can I give you a hug?”
Then as she started to walk away with her two friends, she stopped, looked back once more and said, “You matter.”
“You do, too. Always.”
I have no idea what prompted the exchange – except that I showed up to that place feeling completely connected to my best, and maybe that’s the secret to helping others connect with their best, too.