Posted by: Hannah | 06/24/2014

take me out to the ball game

I struggle to blog in the summertime. I’m outside most of the time, so when I’m inside I’m doing the minimal amount of chores to keep the cholera down to a dull roar. My posts would all be of the “OMGGGGG AM OUTDOORS SUNSCREEN SMELLS GOOD LOOK THERE IS A BEE!!!!” variety.

Plus, things are hectic. Harry’s baseball schedule is punishing. Two games a week, one practice a week minimum. All starting at 6pm. I don’t get off work until 5:30. It’s been challenging, and I complain about it sometimes, but it’s so worth it.

One of Harry’s teachers has “serious concerns” about his perceived lack of focus & attention. It’s true, if he’s bored, he has a tendency to twitch, bounce and twirl. We’ve had to talk to him after some long, drawn-out games about not dancing in the outfield. But give him something to use that energy on, and I’m amazed by him.

Michael pointed out that our driveway has a slight slope away from the house, and encouraged Harry to practice throwing a ball against the garage door to improve his accuracy and range. Throw, wait for it to roll back. Over and over. He does it every day for at least a half-hour. He’s working on his hitting, and while he’s not one of those kids who occasionally connects and sends it high, wide and handsome into the outfield, he doesn’t strike out. Like, ever. Like, not since the first game they played a month ago.

Last night he played second base for half the game and he did very well. He was so determined to get in front of the ball that he misjudged one hit and took the ball right to the face. Let me just say to all you hockey & football parents out there – my god, how do you stand it? Sitting there on the bleachers, only able to see the ring of coaches around my kid while I heard the crying… I had my keys in my hand just in case it was a stitches / broken teeth scenario, but eventually the ring parted and my funny kid waved to the people watching on the bleachers and yelled “it hurts but I’m OK!”

(His glasses got bent. Not the for first time, definitely not for the last.)

Harry’s never been stoic about personal injury. We’ve had issues with that over the years, because every injury was cause for wailing, screaming, and all the tears. When he broke his arm we didn’t take him to the emergency room for six hours because we were convinced he was just being dramatic. To see him shake off something that actually really hurt and just continue to play was a huge step for him.

He’s learning to play with the team instead of critiquing their every mistake. Now, he’s not perfect at this. One of his teammates has an awful tendency to get the ball and then just stand there, gobsmacked, doing nothing with it as runners cruise on past him. It happened again last night and Harry stood in front of him yelling “I AM RIGHT HERE THROW ME THE BALL WHY ARE YOU JUST STANDING THERRRRRREEEEE?????” But since the coaches – and stunned-bunny’s mom – were yelling the same thing I can kind of forgive him. And, you know, baby steps.

So it’s been good, and Ron starts next week, too. We’ve become those parents, who drive ourselves crazy getting to practices & games. We’re talking about buying them a batting helmet of their own. Harry “needs” cleats but he’s working so hard I haven’t got the heart to say no.

I find this all very strange, since I hated team sports as a kid and always got picked dead last. Stupid sports. :D

 

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Responses

  1. Really perfect little slice of life of being a little league “mom.” Could see everything in my mind,.

    • Thank you so much for this, Neil, and for sharing it with your readers. I’m really touched.

  2. I loved this a lot. I was am that mom. Sucked at sports, but through my children, I love their triumph and pride.

    • It’s so weird, isn’t it, when you don’t have a frame of reference for playing team sports and then all of a sudden you’re immersed in it?

      Some of these kids – they’re nine now – have been playing together since they were five. The bond is tight, and it’s fascinating to me because off the field they are all so different.

  3. Okay, I love this post very much. And I am in exactly the boat you are, in that I hated team sports and was always chosen last as a child, but my son is now 15 and pitching for a high school that won the JV championship. And it drives me and the huz CRAZAZAY to miss one inning of it. May it continue to fill you with joy. Stupid sports.

    • Wow, congratulations to your son! And a pitcher, no less! I’m pretty sure my nerves would completely short-circuit if my little guy were pitching (so naturally he wants to try pitching, pass the ballpark beer, please).

      Thank you for your kind words.

  4. Oh boy, this brings back bad, bad memories of my own baseball days :S Glad Harry is enjoying it and doing well!

  5. Oh ball to the face! Ouch! Oldest has played keeper for a fairly intense soccer team for a couple of years now and I swear I spent more than half of my time cringing that he is again flinging himself in front of the ball, other players’ feet, the goal posts, everything. Who is this child I often ask myself because generally he is rather risk adverse, but when it comes to soccer he loves being a keeper and inserting himself between things moving at high velocity and the goal.

    Of course I also ask myself when did I become a “soccer mom” who carpools, attends every other game (husband and I switch off so Youngest doesn’t have to spend hours every weekend watching Oldest play soccer), has soccer parent friends even off the field now, and gets emotionally wrapped up in U12 soccer games? 20 year old me would be completely mystified by this development ;-)

  6. Go Harry!

  7. Me too me too! I have a jock friend who regularly falls over laughing at the fact that I have a jock son. I came home drenched tonight after almost getting bowled over by a flying awning when the weather turned bad near the end of the first game of Districts. And I almost throw up every time he pitches. How did we get here?


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