Friday, April 1, 2011

Not my finest trait- The Reluctant Baseball Mom

A Baseball Mom by protest. That is what I am. My kids asked passionately, I relented. I wish it were my favorite thing to do: go to three 1 1/2 hour practices a week and two 2-3 hour games a week, almost all right over dinner time, all so I can watch, if I'm lucky, 1 minute of performance by my child. But try as I might, it just isn't MY thing.

Still, I go. I try to watch when it is my kids' turns. I try to notice things to talk about on the way home. I try to smile and appear like I am enjoying myself. I'm pretty sure my kids know better, though.

It would help if things went a little easier.

First some definitions:

Scrimmage: A mean trick where they turn a drop-off-and-leave-the-child practice into a game-you-must-stay-to-watch, at least part of, even though it isn't a REAL game.

Scrimmage BONUS: Peter is working so I get the job of being the parent who stays. For some unknown reason I decided to bring my youngest two children with me. Extra fun that he worked every night this week which meant I got to run all three kids in baseball to their practices all week.

Scrimmage DOUBLE DOWN BONUS: Is there some Law of Baseball that the temperature, hovering near 70 all day, must DROP and the wind must PICK UP during games or scrimmages?

So we are at the scrimmage. My six-year-old, Joseph, wants to know if we can go to the Concussion Stand. Well, it does feel like you've been hit in the head when you see the prices. It is another unwritten Law of Baseball that you buy food at the Concussion Stand, so I buy nachos and a pretzel. I also get two cups of hot chocolate to counteract the falling temperature. My 4-year-old, Matthew, proceeds to dump half of one cup on my jacket, while I am wearing it. Joseph manages to dump half the other cup on the ground. Maybe we were all hit in the head.

Actually last week I WAS hit in the head at a game. Luckily it was after the ball hit the ground and bounced.  But still, getting hit in the head did not foster an appreciation of the game.

After some time at the nearby playground with the younger kids, we head over to watch some of the (not really a) game. My son stands in out field. He stands at second base. I'm 90% sure he never touches the ball. You see, a lot of the kids are just learning to play in the kid-pitched league. That means many of the pitchers are new. That means almost every kid on base is there for a walk and almost every run is the result of stealing to 2nd, 3rd, and home plate. I think there's an average of 3 actual hits a game.

My son has taken note and decided that his chances are higher of getting to base if he stands there and never swings. The pitcher will get to 4 balls before he gets to 3 strikes. It would be easier to correct him if he weren't correct. (I asked him and I am right. He did the math and liked his chances.)

After 5 1/2 innings (rules are flexible since it isn't a real game) and an extra 30 minutes past the scheduled time, it is over. I am cold, hot-chocolate-ed, tired, and hungry. As we head toward the car, Ethan chatters excitedly about his scrimmage, his two runs, and all the nuances in the game that I seem unable to pick up.  When I look at his face, lit up with excitement, I think maybe I could learn to love the game a little more.

Have you learned to support your children in things you have no interest in? Does it get easier? Any clues on how I can be a better sport? I've done baseball for at least 3 seasons and can't seem to enjoy it. I can tolerate other sports, but baseball is SO BORING.



  1. Um, you're not doing much to foster my love of the game. George starts T-Ball this month. Let the games begin!

  2. I have never been happier in my life that I have all girls. :P
    And I am totally aware that because I just said this I will PAY for it.

  3. You will probably never love the game but the child who loves the game. Bring hand work or listen or read a book. Leave the little ones with Elise and enjoy the time out. Good Luck.

  4. Oh I am such a sad mom when it comes to kids and sports. I had an anxiety attack when I signed them up for swimming lessons today. I just think there is such a better use of my time rather than having to make small talk with other parents. And deal with concussion stands;)

    But you will be loved forever for it!

  5. My internet is back so I can read your blog again! Yeah!
    Mmmm hard one, baseball is way boring unless you are playing it. I laughed that he doesn't even swing though!

  6. Your post made me laugh. That makes our dancing and basketball sound much more endurable.

    Your son's so smart too. I think it's great you've found something he really seems to love. When he is a famous baseball player he will probably give you something special for your efforts--like season tickets.

    Hopefully you have recovered from your not so boring head injury:)

  7. We are not yet steeped in any activity. My oldest starts soccer this summer so we'll see how it goes. The whole darn town seems to go out to Friday night soccer. I will either love this or hate it.

    My youngest is a hockey fanatic. I see many, many days at the arena in my future.

  8. My one true hope for my son is that he will want to join the show choir and play the piano. I have no interest in kiddie sports either!

  9. I guess I see your point with baseball (because I've been having trouble with soccer and was thinking I'd do baseball instead). I couldn't get into soccer because the parents were NUTS. Yelling, angry, crazy parents at a 7 y/o girls game.

    Good luck with the rest of the season

  10. I have one question, OK, maybe two. Do you have a kindle and a good babysitter?

  11. Ooooookay. I'm going to start praying my kids are just as unathletic as I am :) (By the way, I love the term "concussion stand"!!)

  12. Good news! It's supposed to rain all week. maybe you'll be spared a practice/game or two?

  13. I found a note written in crayon and my first-grader's phonetic spelling, which said she wants to do everything she can after school: drama, track, craft class...all of it! Her cute note doesn't erase my memory of watching her grumpily drag her feet around the soccer field last year until I would finally give in and just let her sit on my lap...from which she would eventually escape to go play on the playground. That's the last time in a long time I'll pay for a uniform and cleats so my kid can mess around on monkey bars in cold soccer weather.

  14. My two stepsons can't go five minutes without talking about fishing. It is all they want to do on weekends and after school. It is all they want to talk about. I would take baseball any day of the week over fishing. I feel like I want to cover my ears and scream "enough!" whenever the topic come up, which is ALL THE TIME! I wish my husband had girls.

  15. I have been a baseball mom for about a gazillion years now. I think the only thing that gets me through it is lots of diet coke. And the smiles on my kids faces. Don't let anyone know how cheesy I am.

  16. Oh, the joys of motherhood! What we do for our kids!