Sports: We do it for The Kids!

02.6.12

The Little League in our neighborhood is for parents too. There are moms and dads who spend a lot of time on the fields or hanging out with other parents. So much time that they’ve brought in televisions so that they can enjoy full days at the snack bar with their friends.

Baseball is everything for a lot of parents.

Baseball was everything for my son. He’s a decent player, not the best, and certainly not the worst. There are divisions by age set up but players can “play up” or “play down”. There’s a live draft and a group of fathers who are building up their summer travel teams… sort of cart before the horse. They don’t take the spring season seriously, they’re just building super teams so that they can spend the summers together playing baseball. Ooops, I mean their sons will play baseball. Freudian slip one can only suppose.

Alexander is playing down this year. Based on skill it makes little sense. Based on Little League politics it makes a lot of sense. Unfortunately in addition to playing down he’s on a team where some other kids are playing up. So he’s ten and playing with eight year olds.

He doesn’t want to go to practice this afternoon. I can’t say I blame him but I’m trying to put on a happy face for him. None of his friends are even playing in his division and it feels like Alexander’s been punished by a groups of fathers who make the Mean Girls look dainty.

Part of me wants to shame them but the better part of me knows that it’s probably for the best. It’s unlikely that Alexander will last through the season there, and if he wants to quit I’ll likely let him. I don’t like the idea of kids quitting anything, but I detest the idea of grown men ruining a great game for kids because their horrible egos got in the way. We’re looking at adding two tennis lessons a week and if he does quit baseball he can add a third or possibly a fourth.

I can say with absolute and complete honesty that I despise these men that take a child’s game and turn it into a power play for themselves. I’m not sure what went wrong for them in their lives that they’re unable to think of other people’s children.

I do think that when Alexander gets over this hump of dejection that it will be positive. It’s not like they play baseball at country clubs, right?

Someday I’ll Tell You About Kenmore

01.26.12

Traveling to Chicago in the winter is a bear. It’s cold and the traffic is miserable. If there’s only one thing you ever learn from me in your entire life let it be this:

There is a train station in O’Hare Airport. Use it.

I was really happy to meet so many women who I’ve followed online for years. One in particular is Bobbie who had a very serious accident on her way home. Of course I was happy to be with new and old friends but after coming home and hearing about Bobbie, her husband and her kids (just bumps for them, yay!) I sort of didn’t have energy to write about the day.

I will soon.

Baseball season is starting and it’s off to a rocky start. I watch Dance Moms with the kids (just so I can feel smug and superior) and then I realize that the Dance Moms are a little less sociopathic and a little more realistic than the Baseball Dads. The Dance Moms think that their daughters are going to dance their way to Harvard. The Baseball Dads seem to think that their sons are all going to be the next Albert Pujols. It’s possible that one of them will be great, but statistically they’ve got a better chance of being a CEO of a Fortune 500 company than a Major League Baseball pitcher.

I played tennis today and it was awful. I was winning 4 games to one and then we sat down to take a break in the shade (86 degrees today) when my partner asked me how Alexander’s eyes were. I lost set 6-4. In fact I lost some of those games without ever scoring a point.

I keep wondering if we made a terrible mistake by not forcing Alexander to have the “fine tuning” stitches like the doctor suggested. I’m not sure that his eyes are straight (they could be) but I worry that we cost him another surgery by not insisting that they leave some stitches hanging out so they could tweak the eye the second day.

I’m at a standstill today thinking about that. I might try going for a run later. I’m not sure how to get thoughts like these out of my head, but I’m absolutely unable to focus or concentrate.  

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

10.17.11

Buy me some peanuts and cracker jacks I don’t care if I never….

Oh… whatever, y’all know you LOVE baseball too.

Little League Opening Day: We Do This FOR THE KIDS

09.12.11

Yesterday was the opening day for Fall Ball at the local Little League. If you follow me on Twitter then you may have taken note that the culture of Little League has a lot of parental involvement. Or possibly you might have noted my unparalled disdain for The Baseball Mom.

Little League seems to rival Pop Warner for the most involved parent awards. Unlike soccer, volleyball or tennis more than one coach is required so at least three dads are on the field at a time. Once in a while a mom makes her way onto the field, but the dads do a pretty good job of moving her along to snack duty like a good mom.

Like other sports there is a draft. Presumably this is to keep the teams balanced.

Baseball is about one kid and a ball. Unlike other sports the play is where the ball is and the spotlight is on the boy with the ball. It can be a lot of pressure on a child so moms like me supplement Little League with a pitching, catching or hitting lesson. My son goes for an hour a week and the cost is $85 an hour. To keep that in perspective a really great Math or English Tutor runs about $65 an hour.

I know it’s silly but Alexander loves those lessons and we can swing it. So why not? Why not indeed. I’m morphing into a baseball mom.

This weekend our Little League has hit their stride. You may or may not know that a season of Little League is a little over $200, then you buy a bag, bat, glove, cleats, batting gloves, and more. It’s a fairly significant expense as compared to sports like soccer or volleyball, where you pay $100 or less, join a league and buy the kids a pair of shoes and a ball. After paying the $200+ (I think it was $230 last year?) you are asked to help fund raise. This is typically where I lose interest. The fundraising supports lights on the fields… ummm I don’t want my kids there in the dark, I want them home for dinner. Sometimes the fundraisers support the off season teams, again, that’s not my boy, you’re on your own.

Apparently this year the Board of Directors of the Not For Profit Little League, which is responsible for providing young children (boys only at our park) with the opportunity to play baseball, has decided that the best way to use those tax free funds was a parent donated** drumroll please…… (more…)

Personally Blogging

05.10.11

I haven’t written much about the homestead because it would approach book length and I wouldn’t necessarily come out of it looking very good.

Jane’s English assignments look quite a bit like Chinese to me, there are prepositional phrases that behave as bodyguards so that we can’t find the predicate. I’m pretty sure there’s a subject but then there’s some wacky article that’s clearly only there to confuse everyone so we have no way of knowing if it’s singular or plural because the article isn’t exactly next to the subject.

I have degrees in the sciences. I didn’t want to write words. I can’t help Jane, but I can read Cradle to Crade with her and help her understand what William A. McDonough is saying when he tells her about the irrigation system that the Egyptians built to accommodate the annual flooding of silt and soil from the Nile. We talk about our waste and where it goes, we discuss composting toilets and decide that we are, in fact, not that green.

I check her math, it’s good. It’s always good. She’s my daughter, math makes sense.

Alexander sails through school and we’re teaching him to not interrupt. Perhaps he needs a more challenging setting, perhaps he’s just confident and confident is good.

This morning I returned to ladies doubles. I didn’t play very well, but when everyone wanted to shake hands afterwards I said I’m not shaking hands.

I realized I’d said it much in the manner of a Chasid woman who was menstruating. The phrase I’d heard so often in my youth is, “I’m not touching anyone right now.” And we all sort of understood that she hadn’t been to Mikvah. I guess I was waiting for the group of women to understand that medically something was going on and I wouldn’t be touching, but I speak American Jew and they speak Goyisha, so I had to explain that I wouldn’t be shaking hands because I’m on five drugs that inhibit and then kick the crap out of my immune system. I don’t want to catch a cold.

After school both kids had Orthodontist appointments. Alexander may be out of braces soon, Jane has just barely begun, new hardware will hit her lower teeth in about 8 weeks.

Alexander had batting lessons today. He’s a right handed batter who swings lefty so he’s got to learn to pull the bat out in front of him. Alexander is really happy because he’s figured out the grip. He thinks he knows when he goes from loose hands to tight grip.

Mr. G is coming home from work on time, which is all I can really ask for. He played a little lunchtime tennis and got a bloodblister on his big toe. I was happy that I got to sterilize the needle and pop the blister. He wasn’t nearly as happy as I.

We’re back to boring here. We like it this way. After dinner I showed the kids and Mr G the best mommy video to ever hit YouTube.

If you’re eating, stop, and if you’re feeling judgy you can stop that too. Because this is wonderful.