The past few weeks have been bad ones, media-wise, for kids. First there was that terrible incident of kids bullying the grandmother-bus-monitor and then there were those kids who were ejected from the 9/11 Memorial because they were throwing trash into the reflecting pool. I think it’s almost impossible to read accounts like that and not wonder what is wrong with kids today, what is happening to our society and whether all sense of decency is lost.
So I happy to report that no, kids today can be pretty awesome. Awesome enough to melt hearts on a sweltering summer day.
For the past week or so, my son has been on a Little League tournament team, playing other teams in New York City. Their journey ended today with a heartbreaking loss, but this isn’t a story about baseball. Or winning or losing. It’s a moment that happened when we were playing on Friday evening, in the almost-100 degree weather, in the Bronx. It was a tight game, and their pitcher hit one of our batters in the head. Accidentally, of course, but it hurt, and our batter got to take a base. He ran to first, grimacing a bit. This has happened before. We’d seen it a million times.
But I’ve never seen what happened next. The pitcher ran over to first base, approached our batter, apologized, asked if he was ok and shook his hand.
Seeing two ten year old boys shake hands over a mistake, an accident, made my throat all lumpy. In a world of so many You Tube memorializations of sports-parents behaving badly, of reports of kids being spoiled and not having any manners, here was a pitcher who took time out of the game and did the right thing. The right thing that did not advance his game one bit, but told everyone there volumes about his character.
“Did you see what that pitcher did after he hit Quincy?” I asked my son later.
“What did you think of it?” I wanted to know.
“Well, it was nice,” he said.
And it was nice.
It was nice to see, too.
And it was a wonderful reminder that kids today can be pretty awesome.