I love fall. I love winter. I love spring. I hate summer.
Every year as the temps begin to rise and shoot into triple digits and the grass starts turning brown and school is out I get into a rut of depression. In May Cash asked me what about summer makes me do this. I didn't know. I just hate being so hot and confined. Maybe it goes back to being a single teacher when I got extremely lonely in the summertime. I don't know what it is. But I feel summer with my whole heart, and I hate it.
Then this summer happened.
In June I saw our local Double-A baseball team was looking for host homes due to our housing crisis in Midland. I called to ask about what it involves. Cash and I talked about it for about a week when we finally decided to just give it a shot. We figure we wouldn't have anyone for a month at least.
About an hour after I turned in our application, the office emailed to say they had just had players moved up the day before and this would be perfect. (The A's pay for 2 nights of hotels when the players get moved up. Then they're on their own.) Needless to say that night we got an email from a player saying he would be moving into our home the next night after the game.
We were shocked! It happened so fast, and we started scrambling to get his room ready and make our house look presentable and not look like 2 kids tear it up on the daily.
The next night we met our house guest. Over the next 3 months, however, he became so much more than that.
Somewhere between playing trucks with Henry and eating leftovers when he got home every night and watching The Bachelor with me so he could recap it with his girlfriend we gained a member of our family.
|Starting lessons at 2 years old with a 90 MPH fastball|
He is a starting pitcher, which I learned only pitches about every 6 days, so we went to every home game he started. When he was away, we listened on the radio. I became this baseball stats kind of woman. I found myself saying things like, "Oh, he pitched 7 and a third innings, no hits, 1 walk, 8 strikeouts. He did great. Yeah, they lost, but no one cares about that because he didn't get the loss because those weren't his runs." When you stop looking at the final score and only care about the stats, you are a baseball fan. When you start wearing your shoes on the wrong feet and eat the same food every game day because that's what you did last time, you are a baseball fan. In all my life no one ever accused me of being a big baseball fan. Baseball pants? Yes. Baseball itself? No. But Summer 2018--that was my summer of baseball.
|His biggest fan ⚾️|
During his time with us, the team traveled to Arkansas to play both the Naturals and the Travelers. My parents got to make the trip to Little Rock where they met his grandparents and watched him throw an exceptional game.
|Rockhounds dominated the Travs!|
Last week his parents came into town and got to stay down the street at my in-laws'. I knew it'd be fun to meet them, but my gosh I cried when they left!
While his parents were here, we snagged them from the baseball game on Friday to take them to their first Texas high school football game. They brought sweet presents, each one so thoughtful, and even introduced us to sugar cream pie. If you've never heard of sugar cream pie, you have not lived (you also probably have never been to Indiana). One morning while Cash was at work I dropped the kids off and met our player's parents for coffee and after an hour of just chatting I drove like a maniac to pick up the kids because I was late. I found myself wishing we lived closer because although we hosted their son, they quickly became wise, older friends to us. And what an awesome moment when I got to tell them my heart ached for a third kid I would never have but that their son filled that gap for us this summer.
|All the 😍 for new friends who feel like old friends|
Today we gave our hugs and a small goodie basket and waved goodbye to the nicest guy in baseball and a whole summer of memories. With tears streaming down my face, I walked in his room to make sure he didn't leave anything. Instead I found a bottle of wine and a note...and a Starbucks gift card labeled "for Avery during Mother's Day Out."
I died. That was too much. Hilarious and sweet at the same time.
As the sun goes down on this Labor Day and puts the final stamp on our summer hosting a minor league baseball player, I thank God for His provision. Of all the players we could've received. Of all the families he could've gotten. Of all the things that had to be timed perfectly, I truly believe God blessed us all this summer when we grew our family by grafting in a whole clan from Indiana.
|Pullin family of five|
Never underestimate the power of an open door, especially when there's a guy in baseball pants on the other side.