Insert relevant sport here; currently I hate being a baseball mom. The Little League season has just begun and I have already ferried my junior champions to three practices and one game since Saturday. (It is now Thursday.) Actually their father took them to one, and a friend took them to another but I still feel put upon. I know I’m supposed to get joy from every golden hair on their little heads, but instead I wonder what went wrong with my life that I spend my days ferrying two ungrateful brats back and forth down the Pacific Coast Highway. Wasn’t I destined for greater things? Because my ego sure thinks so.
Let’s start with the uniforms. Whose idea was it to get sweaty boys (and a few girls, I don’t have any but I’m assuming they’re slightly less sweaty) into scratchy polyester outfits after an entire day of playing at school? Followed closely by jamming their feet into wool socks, which is akin in difficulty to getting an eel to wear a scarf. And the belt is it’s own holy nightmare, my kids are 7 and 8 but I saw parents of 12 year olds struggling with their children’s belts. I’m presuming if the kid’s still playing baseball at 12 he/she has reasonable motor skills, so why is the League giving the kids an elastic belt so difficult that a rushing parent has to get involved? Can it not be sewn into the pants in some way? Are these people torturing us on purpose?Not to mention the fact that changing into the uniform happens in the public bathroom of the ball park, and although there is safety in numbers and there is not likely to be a pedophile lurking in there, the little boys do tend to discard their clothes on the floor as they remove them. On the floor. In the Mens’ toilets. Where they also sit to put on their socks and shoes. Right before I shove a pre-game snack into them. Can you say Gastro Enteritis?
And the park is cold. Like 20 degrees colder than the weather because you’re just sitting there and not running around. Also pretending to be interested in anyone other than your kid. I’m interested in the kids on our (and the other) team whom I’ve watched grow up since they were babies, other than that the shine of excitement you see in my eyes is actually a dull glaze, as I wonder what the hell I’m going to feed my starving animals once they step off the field.
Of course, unless I want to garner the hostile looks of actual “good” mothers, I keep all this shit to myself.
Then at yesterday’s first game, came my kid’s first run of the season. And then the second one, the less confident-at-sports one hit the ball, and eventually made it around all the bases. Then my first kid came back and did it again. I was screaming with excitement, mostly that my unco-ordinated Jewish genes have not polluted the next generation. I thought these were called “home runs” when I was bragging later, only to be told that’s not a home run and then blah blah blah I lost interest because it wasn’t about me (or my kids.)
Win or lose, the experience of team sports is incredible for children. It is a privilege to watch them change into better human beings throughout the season. Hopefully that may happen to their mom as well.