Honestly, on some days his personality is such that it can make me feel physically tired. From day one he busted into this world overly sensitive to light, touch, fabrics. I really never knew for sure what his reaction was going to be to anything, even just a normal every day occurrence. He was incredibly stubborn and would dig in and it was impossible (sometimes even physically) to make him do anything he didn’t want to do. There were days when this momma seriously just felt like throwing in the towel. It seems like every time I would be just about to lose my mind he would mature a little and be able to handle himself a little better.
When I look back now it’s so easy to see all of the stages along the way were preparing him for the life to come. Being sensitive to touch would definitely make him feel the seams of a baseball in a different way. Learning how to have self-control when things are not necessarily going his way would prove critical for his career as a pitcher. Having a stubborn streak would help him to continue to fight for his dream no matter the obstacles.
Year 23 has once again been full of hard work, exciting achievements but also some drama. We watched him work so hard physically to meet specific goals before arriving at spring training. The minor league season started off so, so well and we were all just patiently waiting hoping he would be moved up a level so he would be closer to home. The call we received instead was full of questions and concerns and a little fear and we were miles and miles away. Instead of coming closer to home to pitch he would come closer to home to have surgery to address an aneurysm in his bicep. Once again, his sensitivity to his body caused him to push doctors to test for something that was not right and we were super thankful.
While I know I’m not necessarily a quitter, I do give up fairly easily when I fear failure. It’s an awful trait and one I’m super happy to say I didn’t pass on to this one. I was so worried about his mental state and how he would respond to having a season ending injury but I should not have been. Riley wants to be a professional baseball player and he’s not letting a set back change his end goal. Instead he developed a plan and as soon as he could he was back in Florida working on his come back. Being the mom and remembering the little boy he once was, I’m always trying to give him a reality check and make sure he’s being realistic to prevent him from an outburst. I keep forgetting he’s a man now and all that he has achieved and fought for in his 23 years has prepared him to handle whatever the future holds.
Riley Cole, I am super proud of you. You still drive me completely nuts some days, make me laugh until I snort on others and scare me just a little with your political incorrectness. You don’t take life too seriously but know how to work hard. I think sometimes we forget this since you are lucky enough to have a job that is also something you love to do. This year you also found a second love in hunting and I’m loving this has brought you and your little brother even closer together. He is really going to need your advice the next few years and even when he acts as if he’s not listening he’s totally soaking up everything you say. Be a good role model!! For me year 24 was the year I was pregnant with you!
I love you to the moon and back you nut. So thankful for the relationship we have, for your love of family and your sense of humor. You have definitely made me a better mom.