I remember when my older sons started T-ball. I had delusions of
exciting games, plays at the plate, and balls getting hit over the
fence. I would get frustrated when my kids ran to the wrong base,
dropped the ball, or picked dandelions in left field. The games
took forever, and I couldn't wait for the juice boxes and snacks to
get doled out so we could all just go home.
That was then.
Now I am left soaking up the waning days of this most delightful
comedy of errors. My youngest, Joey, plays for The Sand Gnats.
My kid is a gnat.
I botched up Joey's very first game last week. I mixed up my
days and dressed the older boys to play instead of Joey. The coach
assured me that it was still OK for Joey to take the field. So
there sat my Sand Gnat, sans uniform, picking dandelions in his
disintegrating winter coat. A couple of parents mistook him for a
lost (and possibly homeless) child and tried shooing him away.
Midway through that first outing, our team commenced a full-out
game of tackle baseball. Wherever the ball landed, so did a pile of
5-year-olds. The patient and generous coaches tried helplessly to
end these shenanigans, but to no avail. And this is where I am
truly a great mom to have around. I may not remember my turn for
snacks. I don't always go to the correct field. And I obviously
have trouble keeping track of game days. But sending me over to
break up a bunch of unruly kindergartners?
It was practically my finest hour.
"STOP. THAT. NOW. You boys keep this up and you are ALL going to
bed the SECOND you get home. THERE IS NO TACKLING IN BASEBALL.
Y'HEAR? I see one more boy jump on someone else and you are going
to be in BIG TROUBLE. BIG TROUBLE. No snacks for ANYONE."
Cue dramatic kicking up of dust. The prospect of being denied a
CapriSun and snack-sized bag of Chips Ahoy was paralyzing. The game
continued without incident.
During the post-game meeting, one of the coaches made it a point
to discourage grabbing teammates by the shoulders and tossing them
into the dirt. He read aloud from the sanctioned T-ball Handbook
and cited rule 6.1b.
Then he dragged me into it.
"I know for a fact," concluded the coach, "that at least ONE mom
told you guys that there is no tackling in baseball. Someone could
get hurt. Moms don't like blood."
The kids all look around suspiciously for this Judas amongst
And without second thought or fear of repercussion, Joey piped
"That was MY mom."
He said it with just the slightest hint of pride.
My little Sand Gnat is not yet embarrassed by his mother. He
does not care if he sucks at T-ball. Whenever positioned at base,
he delights in all the different runners who appear, and he greets
each one as though he was welcoming the Prodigal Son himself.
Whoever lands on Joey's base is met with a giggle, a hello, and an
earnest invitation to come over to our house and watch Doc
T-ball is perhaps the last of the unblemished sports where it
does not matter if you lose, drop the ball, or run the wrong way.
It is wildly disorganized, slightly chaotic, and downright
I am going to miss it with all my heart.
Marianne is mother of three sons and the wife of a southside Irish fireman. She has learned that sometimes you're just too dumb to know what makes you happy. She blogs regularly at We Band of Mothers (webandofmothers.com) and curses with even greater frequency. Her material is written for the imperfect, the imprudent, and the impatient mothers who know that all this stuff is really very funny if you just give it a minute.
See more of Marianne's stories here.
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