Growing up, one of my favorite things to do was watch sports. Sunday afternoon NFL games were always something I looked forward to with my grandma. Cheering on high school friends as they beasted their talents on the basketball court bring back some of the best memories.
As luck would have it, I now have four boys, three of whom are competitors in every sport. Like, they play ALL.YEAR.LONG. For the last four years or so, I don’t feel like we’ve had a season with a whole lot of down time because they were always involved in either basketball, baseball or football. And one season of soccer…which just was not for us.
But baseball has always been my favorite. I can’t figure out why. Maybe it’s the warm weather. Maybe it’s the flavored sunflower seeds (oh, dill pickle, how I love thee!). Maybe it’s all of the above but I love to hear the *ping* of the bat drive that ball to left field. I get fired up when I hear an umpire’s gruffy voice yell “Yep, he got ‘em!” after one of my boys have laid down the tag on a thieving baserunner. I am that mom in the stands screaming obnoxiously.
Now, because it’s who I am, I don’t wear this role of Baseball Mom without having a few complaints. So can we please discuss Porta-Potties? Because chances are, if my only option to relieve my bladder lies in that of a plastic stall on a cement sidewalk shared with hundreds of others at a tournament when the 90-degree sun has been bearing down on it for hours, I would almost rather shoulder the embarrassment of wetting my own pants before utilizing those things. Like, you want me to put my hiney where? Just NO.
And let’s talk about the insanity that is some parents and grandparents of these little players. I mean, why are we screaming, “Strike that loser out!” at 8-year-old baseball games (yes, true story). Fortunately, it was not to my child because, so help me Lord…but it was to someone else’s child. And I just cannot even comprehend the reason behind this. Yes, I am the crazy mom screaming, “Go, baby, GO!” when mine are rounding third and facing a close call at home plate. Sure, I even get a bit frustrated if he bobbles a seemingly easy ground ball instead of tossing out the runner in his typical fashion. But then I remember that these are kids. CHILDREN. And they are trying to have fun if we as spectators would only let them.
Now, don’t get me wrong. If my kid needs a talkin’-to by his coach, I’m behind that coach 100%. I believe that organized sports are great character building activities because, let’s be real, they need to learn how to win humbly and lose graciously. It is, undoubtedly, preparing them for the real world. Some of these things cannot be taught in words but have to be learned in action and I fully support these opportunities.
And while their often conflicting schedules have me going insane on the daily and running in different directions for practices, scrimmages, tournaments…I could not think of anything I would rather do more than to watch them do what they love. It is an absolute joy. Even on the hot days when my shorts are stuck to my legs, sweat is dripping down the back to the crack and the 3-year-old is ingesting parasitic dirt instead of being monitored by his mother. Yes, even then.
Because, while this life of mine started off a little broken, it sure is playing out quite beautifully. Curious about the “broken” part? Read about it here…