There he was in the outfield, legs crossed, a blade of grass hanging out of his mouth, dusty hat with the bill turned up like Gomer Pile. He would have been picking "daisies" (actually dandelions) except that he had already picked that area clean. His older brother at shortstop wasn't much better. Hands loosely dragging in the dirt, he was doing everything BUT watch for the ball. If not for the uniforms and the cries of "hey batter batter" from the other children in the vicinity, you would've thought they were out for a day to play in the park. As a highly competitive person, their complete disinterest and lack of focus in a sport they've begged to play completely bothers me.
I think of the bruises on my body from diving after a little white ball, the wood burns from scrabbling for a loose basketball. I think of how last fall as I was busy falling from destroying my achilles, I was already kicking myself for not stretching out a few more inches to bump the ball over. Not to mention that the whole reason that I'm recovering from the second surgery on my right leg is because I got my second serious sports injury.
And then I think a little farther back to a little blond girl climbing a tree in her soccer cleats. During the game. Because she was bored of waiting to be substituted in. And I'm pretty sure that same little blond girl has picked a daisy or two, even if she doesn't remember it. So now she is grown and she both grins and shakes her head at the antics of the little blond boys. Some day they will come into their own and discover that competitive fire. In the meantime, grab the telephoto and keep the photos in the memory album. Because all too soon they won't be little boys picking daisies any longer.