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Chris Fabry
Married to Andrea since 1982. We have 9 children together and none apart. Our dog's name is Tebow.
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Where We Are Now

After finding and remediating mold twice in our Colorado home, we abandoned ship in October 2008. Because of the high levels of exposure, our entire family was affected. After months of seeing different specialists for all of the problems, we came to Arizona to begin comprehensive treatment to rid our bodies of the toxic buildup. In August 2009 we moved into a larger home, four bedrooms, south of Tucson, north of Mexico. I am doing my daily radio program/ writing from that location. Thanks for praying for us. We really feel it.

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Tuesday, November 12, 2013
I was umpiring in the field at a Little League game recently. The season was winding down and I finally took the plunge to see if I could keep up with the intricacies of calling runners out at 1st and 2nd.

Umpiring is not easy, especially when you have critics on both sides of the fence. But you can’t let the possibility of making a bad call keep you from making any call. That’s my motto.

I was standing behind the first baseman from the other team. His hair was long and unevenly cut under his cap. He had the look of a scared deer who had been running from hunters all season and was just tired.

“Are you having fun?” I said before play resumed.

He gave me a look, sort of a modified eye roll, then a grin. “Not really.”

If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a thousand times, kids are supposed to have fun. It’s a learning experience. It’s all about enjoying the game and discovering yourself and blah blah blah. This kid had cracked the code. He knew it wasn’t about having fun and learning. It was about winning. It was about not making a mistake.

“Why aren't you having fun?” I said, probing a little further.

He put his hands on his knees and spoke to the dirt. “Because our coach yells at us all day.”

That does tend to take some of the fun out of it. I looked at his coach—there were two. Judging from my interaction with them, they didn’t think umpiring was about having fun or learning either.

“Well, you guys have gotten a lot better over this season,” I said, trying to encourage him or say something he hadn’t heard from his coach. “I’ve seen a lot of progress.”

First base didn’t say anything.

On the next pitch, a ground ball came to the infield. The throw was a little off-target and first base couldn’t stop it. From the dugout came a yell, instructions that sounded like they’d been given before, mixed with derision.

The pitcher got the ball, looked at the runner and climbed on the mound. The coach's words hung over the field like a cloud.

“I see what you mean,” I said to First Base.

He didn’t look at me, but I saw him smile.


Nicholas said...

Thanks for this post, Chris! Unfortunately, we all learn too soon that life will do its darndest to steal all fun and joy!