My run this evening took me on a paved trail through many ball fields, all loaded with little kids learning about rules, competition, teamwork, sweat, dirt, foul balls, blocked bases, athletic cups, and endless days of being a slave to a sport vs. free playtime. Some kids are there by choice and some are there by means of parental bribe to get them off the sofa or away from the video games.
There’s the hot and sweaty parents, (or the wet and freezing ones–this IS bipolar Ohio), screaming on the sidelines from their butt-sunken umbrella chairs, thinking that their kid will most certainly be the next Babe Ruth. There’s also that one parent who challenges the umpire’s every call, that you want to bitch slap, but you can’t because you might lose your place in the concession stand line and miss the almighty “half cooked hot dog” dinner!
Some parents are fresh from work and rush hour traffic horror, still in their tie or dress and heels, hoping to at least make the last inning, so not to disappoint their child and earn the “bad mom (or dad) of the month” award.
Let’s not forget all the video cameras in motion of footage that will never be watched because after all, we are parents and we tape everything…because we can, but hey, our hearts and intentions are in the right place!
And how could I forget that mom (me) who tried to squeeze in just a one mile run while her kid sits the bench, awaiting their time up to bat… or because they are losing so badly that only the “good kids” get to play. But then all moms think their kids are good, right? God forbid you might miss that once in a lifetime hit! (You hope you can get that lucky because then, maybe your kid will get to play more!)
I remember the days when I had all four of my Babes on four different fields, at the same time, and how chaotic and confusing it was trying to split my time fairly and on little sleep from having worked the night before. I lived on concession stand hotdogs, tacos in a bag, and Swedish Fish. I took “my turn” working in that gawd-awful concession stand too. But, somehow, I loved and lived for those days! (minus the concession stand) and they are some of my favorite mothering moments.
One day they’ll be doing this with their kids. Only then, will they appreciate all the hard work that being a GOOD mom (or dad) means and how great they had it for these opportunities. I can even remember writing checks for the sports fees that were all due at the same time, crossing my fingers that the paycheck would be deposited before the check cleared, because money was so tight. But there was no way I would ever have denied them the opportunity to play.
Now I’ve become that empty nest mom, who stops dead in the middle of that run that I once wanted so badly, to park it under a tree and blog my thoughts before I forget them!