It All Goes By in a Blink (No, It Actually Does Not)

06.12.14

Last week I was sitting in the baseball stands where I first sat eight years ago. During closing ceremonies for my son’s final year at Lilttle League I  listened as other parents snapped their fingers saying, “It goes by just like that.” It’s not the first time that I’ve felt like an oddball at Little League. I only knew this would be the last.

It didn’t go by just like that. I’m not sure what’s wrong with me that I don’t feel like I’m hurtling through time at warp speed. I sat in those bleachers for eight long years. I remember being tired at tee ball, at wee ball, at coach pitch, during AAA, minors and majors. I remember 4pm practices seeming like they were late in the day because my kids were waking up at 6am for fun (and to torment me) and those days feel like they were long ago because they were long ago. It’s been a while since I had to worry about kids choking on grapes and you couldn’t pay me to go back in time. How do all my contemporaries feel like it was just yesterday that the team manager’s biggest job was tying shoes and wiping noses? What am I missing? Why does time slog along only for me?

Today I found myself at my son’s moving up chapel. It’s the last moving up chapel I’ll ever attend. You see on the last day of school each grade moves to their new pew for the next year. They symbolically cross the aisle and move more toward the back of the chapel. It’s really very sweet and when I watched next year’s kindergarten take their seats in the front of the chapel I was struck once again by how time does not race by. I remembered buying Alexander’s first uniform in the smallest size the store offered. I remembered his bright white socks and impossibly cute knees poking out under blue shorts. I remember how stiff the pants were since they’d sewn in patches preemptively and I remember thinking how will I fill my days when I have two children gone from 8 to 3? Hint: the answer involved both tennis and Pilates.

There is nothing about motherhood that has flown by for me. I feel weird and different and I wonder if it’s because I’ve been a stay at home mother and that the experience of mothers without careers is that time drips by in the slowest of increments. Perhaps it’s because I’ve been writing about motherhood for so many years. Maybe the act of dissecting it and giving it too much attention has slowed the progression. Maybe I need more childless friends?

All I know is this. The world keeps snapping their fingers and telling me that it goes by, “Just like that.” And I’m swimming upstream through molasses and enjoying every moment of it. Sweet slow swims can be like that.

 

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.  

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…)

Overheard At Little Leauge

03.14.09

At Little League

ME:  Hey Jonny, where’s your mom.

JONNY: Oh, she couldn’t come today, Max The Dog has a callback

ME: What is Max doing

JONNY: I don’t know, but Mom’s agent signed him right away and he’s finally earning his keep.

Yes, Jonny is the same child who sat on my sofa, watching the openening scene of Iron Man and declared, “My Dad would love this shot.

Related posts:
Prank Calling in LA
Overheard