What do the Toronto Blue Jays, grass stains on knees, the Montreal Expos and apple blossoms have in common? The common thread as Mother’s Day approaches is my Mom.
Kids connect with their parents on many different levels but there’s always something that bonds past the obvious biological reality; something that we share with our children that is just “our thing.” With my daughter it’s trains and the music of The Eagles. My son and I bonded over hockey the day I took him to his first Squirts practice. I swear that my wife and daughter can recite every line of every episode of “The Gilmore Girls.”
Mom and I have always connected over, no surprise, plants and gardening. But we also have a common love of baseball. We cheered for the Expos in our house and then the Blue Jays. The early 90’s were heady times for us; two World Series titles for the Jays, the ill-fated 1994 Expos who never got to compete for the championship and the arrival of two grandchildren.
The baseball link between us happened much earlier than the 90’s though. That began way back in the late 60’s when I started playing Little League. By the time the 1970’s arrived I had two younger brothers playing as well. Dad didn’t get home from work in time to drive us to the ballpark on most game nights so it was Mom who made sure we were fed, dressed and ready to take the field on time.
The ballpark was less than a mile from our house via Highway 97, which in those days was only two lanes through Summerland and carried far less traffic. Mom shepherded her rambunctious future major leaguers up the road several nights a week. It wasn’t that we couldn’t walk on our own; she was going to be watching every game anyway so why not walk with us?
Baseball season would start in April and even today, forty plus years later, there is an indestructible connection between Mom, baseball and apple blossoms. Despite the changes that have occurred along that stretch of highway there are still apple orchards and that’s what I remember most about those evenings.
I would be excited and nervous about the upcoming game. Little League was fun but I was very competitive and enjoyed winning far more than losing. Every game contained no small amount of drama. I remember very few details about the games however.
My most vivid memories are of walking with Mom along the highway, the beautifully-sweet fragrance of apple blossoms filling the air around us. My stomach is well-fed, my uniform has been washed clean of the grass stains that I had accumulated during the previous game and Mom is with me. Mom, our biggest fan, will be sitting in the stands cheering us on. She’ll revel in the hits and the great catches and she’ll die a little inside when the ball sails over my head in the outfield.
Baseball, grass stains and apple blossoms, we all have our connections with Mom. Happy Mother’s Day to my Mom and to all Moms. Small gestures of love radiate throughout the lives of your children in ways you can never imagine.

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