Take me out to the ball game…

March 24, 2009

Baseball season has started again and if you’re the parent of young children you know what this means. If you’re not a parent, or you’re the parent of children to young to benefit from the positive influence of organized group activities, let me explain.
Baseball season means that you’ll have to drive your child to practice a minimum of three times per week and that you’ll spend a large portion of your weekend sitting in a folding camp chair. Baseball season means that you’ll be forced to interface with that nutty father of the kid down the street who loves the National Past Time so much that he actually ordered his own baseball uniform in a XXXL so that he can live vicariously through his son’s Little League experience. This guy’s easy to spot- he’ll be the one screaming repeatedly at his kid to pay attention as little Johnny picks dandelions in center field. Let’s see, what else does it mean?  Oh yeah, you get to participate in the collective angry sigh of the sideline parents (minus the guy in uniform) when the coach announces that the kids could really use an additional 15-minutes of practice- as dinner chills on the table and the homework gets farther and farther from being completed. Have you ever been on the sidelines when this happens- Holy shit, talk about hostility.

Our league goes above and beyond in the pain department- they actually bully parents into working the concession stand during the games. No shit, if you don’t volunteer for a couple of days of making snow cones and hot dogs they slap an additional $50 fee on you- that’s on top of the $200 I paid to sign the boys up in the first place. I think Connie threw me under the bus on this one but I’m not sure- if she didn’t then I can’t come up with a logical explanation for the hair net and apron I found in my closet. The whole thing seems shady to me, I’m already signed up to bring the entire team snacks every other week why the hell do they need a concession stand in the first place?

Did I mention baseball equipment? Then let me do so now. Every year I trudge to the sporting good store to buy brand new baseball cleats in the spring and soccer shoes in the fall. I have to do this because my kids feet grow overnight. Now, since the boys are two years apart, I should be able to recycle the barely used footwear, but I can’t because their feet refuse to grow in any logical sequence. Mack’s feet grow two sizes at a time- it’s the size that he skips that fit Cayden‘s feet- every friggin’ time, it’s a creepy parenting phenomenon. So at the end of the day I have a massive pile of almost new sports shoes sitting next to the giant-sized pile of shin guards which are cattycorner to the humongous pile of discarded team jersey’s- none of which fit but all in such great shape that I refuse to throw them away. This year Mack’s lobbying for his first cup and jock strap combo set. I’m expecting a giant sized pile of those next- won’t that be a lovely addition to the sports themed mountain range sprawling through my garage?

Knowing all of this ahead of time begs the question “why we do this to ourselves year in and year out?” The answer is simple. Last spring I witnessed Mack hit his first homerun and it was simply amazing. When he crossed home plate he was mobbed by his teammates in a flurry of little boy embraces. As I proudly watched my son bask in his first moment of sports glory I realized that the only thing on those kids’ minds at that very moment was how great it was to be a part of a team. That moment of clarity made all of the other inconveniences seem pretty manageable- even the wacky Dad in the full sized little league uniform who clutched me in an awkward embrace when Mack rounded third base- that dude is a strange ranger for sure.

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Michelle posted the following on March 25, 2009 at 9:33 am.

Hi, Shane. Michelle again. Right there with ya’ on the whole baseball thing. This was my first blog post of the season for my boys’ baseball: http://threemenandalittlechica.blogspot.com/2009/02/reporting-for-spring-training.html.

Ahh..the folding chairs…the fastfood dinners….the endless laundry….the last minute rush/panic to find that one missing piece of uniform or equipment (EVERY TIME)….

Like your new blog format.

FYI – my boys (9.5 and 8) graduated from jock straps to these cool “sliding pants” which are pretty cool and look more comfy. Check them out when you get a chance!

shane posted the following on March 26, 2009 at 5:06 am.

Hey Michelle good to hear from you, I checked out your blog extremely cool., love the photos, you definately have some talent, I can’t take a picture to save my life- good thing my wife can.

Funny what things we focus on with baseball season- glad I’m not alone,

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