To: Little Nicky Punto, Tiny Superhero
Sent: Tuesday, July 18, 2006 11:33 p.m.
Tonight our friends at Fox Sports had a microphone on you during the game. How thrilling it was to hear firsthand what really goes on on the field every night. I so enjoyed your pre-game conversation with Gardy, when you assured him that you were, in fact, well enough to play. Your willingness to push on through your pain for the sake of the team was, well, inspiring.
And then, when you went to the mound and made it look like you and Francisco were having a conference, all so that he could have a little bit of a breather after running to make that out at first base... even after he told you he was okay, you insisted that he take a couple of extra seconds, just to be sure. It was so good of you to take care of our sizzling young starter that way.
And when Luis Castillo made that fantastic diving catch, you were right there with the positive reinforcement. You told him, “Suave para ti,” which means “smooth for you” (according to DemiGoddess the elder, who speaks fluent Spanish). Translating your encouragement into Luis' native tongue was an especially nice touch, even if it doesn't really make sense.
Later, you made certain that Mike Redmond fetched the ball after Josh Rabe got his very first major league hit, which was so thoughtful of you, because I’m sure Josh will want that later.
You were there for everyone tonight, making sacrifices and putting the needs of others before your own. It was most endearing. But, the thing is, I’m a tiny bit concerned about you.
So I’m sending along my Melody Beattie book collection for you to read. I think you’ll find “Codependent No More,” particularly useful. And the daily readings in “The Language of Letting Go” will make excellent pre-game meditations. Because you can't take care of anyone else without first taking care of yourself.
Remember Nick, you didn’t cause it, you can’t cure it, and you can’t control it. Not even with a head-first slide into third.
P.S. How do you tell all those Jasons apart? They all look the same to me!