Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Plaaaaaaaaay Ball!

Hurrah! Today is Jake's first baseball game of the season. I'm so excited that I can hardly stand it. I will strap two camp chairs, an assortment of snacks, 10 water bottles, and a variety of toddler entertainment devices onto my back. Then I will slowly hike to the correct field, stopping along the way to chat with other parents and perhaps help to catch a runaway child. I will pry Claire off the slide so that the big kids can play. I will swat away approximately 500 bugs. I will apply sunscreen to children and self and nag my husband to do the same. He won't, and then I'll tell him "You'll be sorry tomorrow!" After setting up camp on the side of the field, I will walk all the way back over to the line of port-a-johns because Jake will have neglected to use the bathroom before we left the house in spite of numerous reminders, then sprint back to the field while trying to fasten his belt because his team is taking the field. All of the hoopla buys me a first class seat to watch the simple joy of boys playing ball. It's a bargain, if you ask me. I know there is a lot of noise about little league parents sometimes. Sometimes parents go a little crazy and bad things happen. I've seen a few parents like that in our league too. Fortunately, I think those parents are few and far between. The majority of the parents are really just there to support their kids and enjoy the show. It's not about living through our children, or even reliving our own childhoods. It's about watching our kids live their own childhoods and create their own memories. Jacob doesn't just take the field, he socializes his way around it. He chats with the coaches in between batters. He chats with the runners on the bases. He plans with his teammates, "I'll get the ball if it comes on this side of that grass clump. You get it on the other side." And the whole time, he has a huge grin on his face. He is completely in his element. It is a joy for me to watch the easy way he has with the other children. After the game, Jake recounts the entire game for us. According to him, they always win. He smiles and chatters about how he slid home (he always slides home whether it is necessary or not), how Ben is a slugger, how funny it was when two fielders ran into each other (it happens at least twice per game). He rattles on while I pack up our miscellany, all the way to the car, and all the way home. He always ends the conversation with a question. "When is the next game?" I will answer, "Not soon enough, kiddo. Not soon enough."


Karen said...

Aw man, I don't even like baseball, but your description makes me want to be there to cheer Jake on as well.

Laura said...

Fun!!! I wish I was closer so I could come with you!! I always loved going to my brother's games. :)

cheribear said...

We're starting T-ball in the next couple of weeks. I know my experience will be completely different, but enjoyable in a different way. Rather than being in their element, they'll be like little fish out of water. Just like mom.