My Time Will Come

I am now officially a sports parent, assuming you consider t-ball a sport, when at any given moment half the team is either building dirt piles in the infield, wrestling their teammate in the outfield, stretched flat out on their belly on the pitcher’s mound, or asking their mother if it’s over yet so they can go to the grocery store and check their blood pressure on that nifty machine with the buttons and the blow up cuff.

Or maybe that’s just my kid.

I’ve been told it’s perfectly normal for a five year old to turn into a deaf zombie the moment you stick a baseball mitt on his hand. I’ll have to take their word for it, having no prior experience with organized kid sports, even as a kid. Back in the old days, when we walked through blizzards uphill both ways to our country school, there were no high falutin’ games like t-ball.

Okay, I admit, there was a school bus. But I did go to a country school and there were plenty of blizzards. I am proud to say I graduated junior high first in my class. Of course, being the only student in my class you could also say I graduated last, but I’m working on that ‘glass half full’ thing.

In my eight years there, we never had enough kids to field two full baseball teams. At recess, we all played together. (Yes, I got recess clear through the eighth grade. Eat your heart out.) I don’t recall our teacher ever setting foot out on the playground, unless there was blood, or a bone sticking out. Forget ergonomically-designed, safety first plastic. Our playground equipment was solid metal, with a scant inch of sand underneath to break your fall. The swingset was twenty feet tall. You could catch some serious air on those babies. We skated on my uncle’s stock pond in the winter and floated homemade sail boats on it in the spring. I came home soggy at least once a week.

In retrospect, it’s obvious lawyers hadn’t been invented yet, either.

It stunk being the little kid. You were always the first to get nailed in dodge ball and the last picked for the softball team. Each year you moved up a rung in the pecking order. By fourth grade there were sure to be a couple of first graders who were smaller and slower, but the seventh grader was still blowing your doors off. You just had to be patient. Slowly, year by year, you knew you would get bigger and stronger and faster. I couldn’t wait until I got old enough to out run everybody.

I’m still waiting.

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14 Responses

  1. I’ve never been much of a runner either. 🙂 And “No” it’s not just your kid! LOL My son was one of those too. His first few games it felt like we were watching a football game instead of baseball. The entire infield would run for the ball and end up in a pile on the ground with the coaches running in to pull them all apart. I’ve never laughed so hard! Enjoy these precious moments. They grow up way too fast!

  2. Melissa: Coaching t-ball is not for the faint of heart. Or body. I have video of our coach getting whacked in the knee by a batter, and his head nearly taken off by a kid who picked up the ball, ran all the way to the infield then threw it as hard as he could from ten feet away. And at one game, the coach/pitcher took the first line drive right square in the crotch.

  3. You always make me laugh. What a great insight into being a kid in a town not so full of kids. And you are right, t-ball is a hoot and baseball doesn’t really connect until they are about 7-8. It’s pretty much good for family videos and cute pictures of the kid in the uniform 🙂 And a good chuckle, of course.

  4. Liz: There was no town. Just a ranching community an hour north, where the school doubled as the gathering place for everything from Harvest Dinner to anniversary parties. Sad now, driving by everyday and seeing it sitting empty and unused.

  5. Oh crap…I’m laughing my ass off at you and Melissa. Having no kids and my nephew and nieces being 4 hrs away, I never experienced t-ball. Sounds like I missed some hysterical moments of life.

    Melissa – I can picture everyone going for the ball and ending up in a pile. LOL

    And Kari – I cannot wait to meet your kiddo!

  6. Cyndi: The famous pig pile. At one game, our second baseman took a swing at the first baseman because he yanked the ball out of her hand. Then the shortstop picked up second base to see what was underneath and the coach couldn’t get it to go back the way it’s supposed to be. And the outfielders were taking turns playing bucking bull/bull rider. And my kid finally fielded the ball…and threw it to his dad.

    Last night, middle of the rainstorm, he opened the front door, dropped his pants and peed on the steps. At least he didn’t do THAT during a game.

  7. BRAWAHAHAHAHA

    I have to remember to go to the bathroom BEFORE I read your posts.

    Opening the door to pee outside COULD be a problem by the time he’s 16 or so…even if you live in Montana! LOL

  8. Haha… I guess I have that kind of thing to look forward to if I ever manage to get my kids involved.

    The comments remind me of a football game my step daughter’s school was playing. A parent in the bleachers ran out to beat the ref with a chair, caught on tape and all. Was funny.

  9. Crystal: I am going to try REALLY hard not to be that parent. When I was an athletic trainer, the moms and dads who did nothing but yell at the refs drove me crazy. Support your kid, shut up about the rest.

  10. I wouldn’t know enough about any of the sports to yell at any of the refs. Even if I did, I don’t think I’d be that parent either. But it sure makes for good YouTube watchin’.

  11. ARGG!!! the memories! you brought them out! take them back! take them back!

    I played t-ball for one year. I was the one in the outfield spinning in circles or picking any flowers (meaning weeds) I could get my hands on.

    I must have gotten in trouble for doing that, because at one game I very clearly remember bing in ‘the position’. ya know, the one where you’re slightly bent and hands are on knees? Cause I was in that position and remembering by some graceful miracle some kid hit the ball my way. and I stayed in position and watched it roll right on past. apparently, I was quite the smartaleck then, too

  12. Keri: I think you were just normal. In six games, there was one time…ONE…when my kid actually bothered to chase the ball. Otherwise, unless it hit him, somebody else could get it.

    And seriously, why is it so much fun to spin circles while wearing a baseball glove?

  13. yeah, our son would chase flutterbys…

  14. LOL! My son used to play Ring Around the Rosie with his buddies on the soccer field. They were five, which was less embarrassing than it would’ve been if they’d been, say, twelve or thirteen. 😉

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