Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Diary of a Baseball Mom

I live in the south. Game day down here is NO joke. Whether is college football, NFL, NASCAR, or Little League. We’ve got some HARD CORE fans.

The past few years, my kids have participated in sports, but it’s been very low-key. They’ve been involved with a program called Upward which is a faith-based sports organization. It’s all about learning the fundamentals of the game & less about winning/losing. Everyone plays – there are no losers. No parents arguing with coaches; no coaches yelling at refs. Everyone cheers for everyone. I liked it!

This year, our son, Justin, decided to make the switch. He was playing flag football with Upward; he decided that he wanted to do tackle football with Parks & Rec. Thankfully, he then changed his mind to fall baseball. That’s ok… there aren’t many injuries in baseball, right? No deranged parents or coaches telling their kids to suck-it-up and play like a man, right?

I’ll admit, our experience has been wonderful. The coaches are nice – no red-faced, in-your-face screaming. One thing we’ve learned about fall ball, it’s more about learning & less about winning. Thank goodness, because our team makes the Bad News Bears look Pro!

We’ve really been enjoying it – especially Justin. I think we found his sport! He takes it very seriously & really listens to the coach. I’m not saying MLB in our future, but at least it’s something he enjoys. Anyway, it’s been great family time for us. We all go to practices – Chelsea has a few friends whose brother’s play on Justin’s team. I’m getting out of the house & Craig bonding with Justin over sports. We all go to the games too.

Speaking of games, I’ve always tried to NOT be the mom who publicly embarrasses her children. Now, I know that it’s just in the parental DNA that you WILL embarrass them at some point, but I try to make an effort to not KNOWINGLY do it. I’ll cheer at the games, but not to the point of embarrassment (at least I don’t think so – Justin hasn’t said anything). I haven’t become the parent that gives the coach coaching advice. Nor have I become the parent that owns EVERYTHING in the team colors/logo. There are no signs or foam fingers arriving with us (not that it’s a bad thing – that’s just a little extreme for me).

Well people – last night, I met the mother of all embarrassing parents. She was Suzanne Sugarbaker meets fire truck. She had that black football helmet hair that wouldn’t move if a tornado passed by. She was dressed - maybe she just came from work; I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt on that one. But, oh man, the racket she was making. You would have thought there was a fire nearby. Her scream sounded like a siren. (Weeooow) Every single time her team got the ball (which was 85% of the game) you heard it – Weeooow! All of the parents on our side started noticing. The coaches started noticing. One of the little boys (maybe 3 years old) started to mimic her – Weeooow!

You know that there was a boy at the field who belonged to her. Which meant that he was standing out there, somewhere, horrified at the sound coming out of his mother’s mouth. I mean, there were dogs barking miles away from this sound! Seriously, had any of us had a video camera, you’d be witnessing it firsthand on YouTube this morning!

So, as parents, we did what came natural – mimicked her! Now, I know that is not the Christian thing to do. I’m ashamed (a little). I mean, she has to know how annoying that sounds, right???? Why not make her aware? Yeah – apparently she has the same attitude that I do. Who cares if they don’t like it – watch this – I’ll do it even more!

I give her credit. She got louder with each play. Her co-workers are probably cheering this morning because she cannot speak above a whisper today.

We play this team again at the end of the season. We’ll be prepared this time – we’re all bringing air horns!

Many blessings,

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