Step aside, Miracle Mets, you ain’t seen nuthin’ yet!
I admit to a certain trepidation in writing these words. The Rangers have flirted with success from time to time, only to disappoint as the season stretched into August and September. There have been glorious days in the franchise history, most notably during the Nolan Ryan years when you could go to the ballpark almost expecting the opposing team to be held hitless, dazzled by the big Texan’s fierce fastballs. But as exciting as those days were, they never led to this—the flirtation with, of all things, the World Series.
Baseball is the game of youngsters. We all return to our childhood when we sit in the stands as memories of Little League fill our heads and faded dreams of sliding home just under the tag or hitting that game-winning homer in the bottom of the ninth bring us back to simpler times. Yes, football is now our nation’s sporting pastime, if not our national religion, but baseball, more than any other sport, seems to transport us back to childhood—dad and son, ball caps firmly adjusted, hot nights, hot dogs, the players charging onto the field as dirt clouds swirl under their cleats . . .
I saw my first baseball game at the old Polo Grounds in New York with my dad, who took me to see my idol, Willie Mays. He crashed a booming homer to dead center and I was never happier. I was probably seven years old, and the memory is as fresh as yesterday.
“The best gift we parents can give our children is for them to see our eyes light up when they enter the room.”
-reported in the New York Times, September 2009, attributed to an elementary school teacher
“Children will see, in the eyes of the parents and teachers who raise them, mirrors in which they discover themselves.”
–Dr. William Glasser
I once heard someone described as a person whose smile never reached her eyes. She could offer a well-practiced smile, as occasion directed, but there was no truth to it. Her smile never reached her eyes.
It is the eyes that speak true. It is the eyes that carry the message of love. And it is the eyes that carry the message of indifference, or worse.
We first connect with others through the eyes, and what we see in those eyes often results in an immediate decision—to connect further through a handshake or embrace, as custom would dictate, or to withdraw. If the eyes speak welcome, acceptance, and joy, we naturally extend ourselves through touch. If they speak disinterest, displeasure, or rejection, we may retreat within ourselves and descend into the loneliness of depression.
What do your eyes speak to the children in your world? Do they speak openness and interest, gratitude and appreciation, enthusiasm and joy? Do they send the message of love?
What do the children in your world see when they look into the mirrors that are your eyes?