Daniel stayed with me a lot when he was small. His brother Jacob played baseball when Daniel was small and unlike the other kids his age who were busy running or playing in the sand, Daniel was always glued to the baseball fence watching the game. He would hold his glove in his hand and imitate whichever player he was that night and do it exactly like that person.
Daniel couldn't hear very well when he was small and didn't start talking until he was almost 4. And even then it would be one or two word phrases. On Sunday's after dinner, he would play ball and slide on every base. My daughter would yell at him to stop that because he was going to ruin his church clothes and he would reply, "Got to" and keep on sliding.LOL
He stayed with me while my daughter worked and every morning after breakfast he would come in the kitchen with his bat and glove and say, "Gam, ball"? So we went and I sat in a chair and threw the ball to him while he hit them. I was smart enough to use rubber balls so he didn't kill me with one of his big hits.LOL When it got hot I had to come in and he never fussed, he would just look at me and say, "Cooler"? And I would tell him yes we would come out when it got cooler and he would smile. And when it got late evening, we went through the same ritual and played until he couldn't see the ball. Daniel still loves baseball and he is really good at it. Everyone who watches him play just says, "WOW, where did he come from". And I tell them I tought him every thing he knows.LOL Here's Daniel with one of his game winning catches on first base.Daniel was always full of life. Nothing bothered him, he just wanted to have fun. So when he was michevious, they would tell him he was mean. I looked at him and told him, "You aren't mean, you're precious." So after that every time someone told him he was so mean, his eyes would light up and he would grin and and say, "No, I'm precious. My gam said so" That has become our won phrase. To this day when they ride him about being so bad, he grins and says , "No, I'm precious", and I just look at them and shake my head yes.
Then one day I turned my head and Daniel wasn't small anymore. Heis now a fine young man. As I watched him walk around the gym with a girl on his arm and a proud look on his face, all I could hear was, "Gam, ball?" And I thought to myself, if we could just keep them small for just a little while longer. But that doesn't happen so we just have to watch them grow and trust God to watch after them because we can't always be there anymore. I am so very proud of Daniel and all my kids for the people they have turned out to be.