Just Have Fun: A Fifth Grader’s Memoir

Just have Fun

By Jackson Wood

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Last year, my baseball team was in the championship. Here is what happened:  It is the last inning. There are two outs and a runner on second.  I am on deck with our worst batter up. Part of me wanted him to get out, the other wanted him to crush that ball out of the park.  He’s up to bat and there is 3-2 full count, the pitch comes firing down,  way off to the side.  It’s a wild pitch. Runner on second steals third and now we have runners on third and first. I was up.  If I hit a home run, we would go home champions if not, it’s all over. I walk down to the plate my coach pulls me aside as the other coach switches his pitcher. I was not the best player on the team, not even close. My coach gets me fired up to “slam that ball out of here.”

I step up to the plate, the  crowd roaring. The ball fires.  I hit a foul, way, way behind me. The second pitch goes way in the dirt. The ump calls it a strike. That pitch has been called on me all year a thousand times over. The count is now 2-0.  My stomach hurts, my heart is pounding out of my chest. I crush the next pitch deep into right field.  It goes way, way back but then it drops.

My dreams were crushed before my eyes. Everything in my head feels like it stopped; it’s not able to handle what is happening. I start breaking down almost tripping, from everything crashing down on top of me. It feels like a million things are punching me in the chest. The ball had been caught by some newbie in right field thinking he is “the king of the world.” I hear cheers that sound like insults,excitement that sounds like laughter, I felt like the world was against me….that everyone did not care about me or how I felt. My coach calls us in for our very last team huddle. I was balling my eyes out. I didn’t even try holding back my tears. I wasn’t ashamed of crying in front of my friends. I didn’t care what they said or what they thought.

The huddle ended. It was finally over. I see my parents.  I pick up my stuff and just go right to the car. Not even turning back, I didn’t even want to talk or even see anyone. My mom got in the car. She knows how I act in these kinds of situations. She knows I don’t want any “good games” or “tough luck.”  I look out my window and see the other team super happy and excited. At first I wanted them to shut up and go home. Then I saw how happy they truly were and how happy I would be if it went down differently. I stopped crying and I was joyful… a thing I never thought would ever feel again after this whole experience. But I realized winning is not what matters most. It’s the people you play with and having fun. I turned to my mom and gave her a big hug.    

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