Although spring is one of my favorite seasons of the year, there is one aspect that I hate. Baseball. I can tolerate baseball on television. I can sit next to Cal and embroider, and we have painless husband-wife bonding time. But that’s not what I hate. What I hate is organized baseball teams. Okay, it’s not that exactly. I’m really glad that Jake is playing on a high school team—good exercise, male war bonding rituals, etc. What I hate is bleacher duty. Freezing my butt off in the stands during the early spring. (How can February be considered spring? It was two degrees above freezing this morning.) I hate marinating in my own sweat and serving as mosquito bait by early summer.
I’d hoped when little league was over that we were done with sports. Little league was its own exquisite torture. Besides three boys on three teams playing at three different locations at the same time, Luke also became an umpire at age 12 when he passed the umpiring exam. And because he was big for his age 6’1” and broad and, therefore, more physically intimidating, he was the behind-the-plate umpire, who got screamed at by parents and coaches alike. (This was New England and they scream at umpires. Yeah, that was fun for me, sitting in the stands and having to keep my mouth shut.) Oops, sorry for that digression.
Now before you think that I was one of those women who was never exposed to sports, who never played, I wasn’t. I played women’s softball. I was the catcher. (I think I was assigned the position because it was the spot where I could do the least damage.) And everything was fine, until there was a play at home base. I got on the bag, crouched, and readied my glove. As the ball came towards me, I caught a glimpse of the runner. She was a freight train. I was a skinny, stupid squirrel standing on the tracks, keeping her from softball glory. But I steeled my muscles and my resolve. I would catch that ball, and she would be out. My teammates were counting on me...Freight-train girl plowed right threw me. I ate dirt. And the idea of balls, gloves, and bats as a fun pastime was forever lost.
Yeah, so baseball has started. Jacob is excited. Let the games begin. I’ll be that mom in the stands cheering the team and yelling, “Go, Jacob. Run over the catcher! You can do it.”