I don't really know how to tell you guys this, but after a month of heart-felt reflection, I think it's time I shared the news: Baseball and I are no longer in love. No longer a couple. We broke up, like three weeks ago. I doubt we'll ever get back together.
It happens every winter. I start to feel a little claustrophobic in the confines of our "cozy" house. It's our New Year's resolution every year to fight the winter blahs with grit and determination. Steve finds CrossFit and tractor stuff to be useful. The boys get together and invent indoor games like mini-football, three-limb wrestling, and NBA Nerf dunk contests. But I, I just spend my "free time" trying to pretend that the bloody nose drips on the couch, shredded carpet and those "I-don't-know-who-did-that" craters in the walls, the ones that flake fine white dust about the house, don't bother me.
No prob, I say. The distressed look is in.
I divert my eyes from the disasters with the beauty of homemade bread and cookies, and by pinning pictures of other people's pretty, clean homes to my imaginary world a la Pinterest.
Sometime around the middle of February I can't take it any more. That's when the spring and summer sports schedules start calling my name. They woo me with the ideals of picture perfect daydreams. I can see it now! There they are, my boys, perfecting the backstroke while I lounge by the pool so proud, so chilled. Next up, baseball. So All-American in their matching uniforms. All that testosterone being sucked out of my house and onto the ball fields. I love you, baseball. I loooove you!!!
So thankful for muscles. So darn thankful.
The spring thaw has arrived, and it's time for practices to begin. I. am. thrilled.
So glad I washed those pants so they'd be clean for your game.
Mom, nobody cares if my pants are clean when I just hit a triple.
Whew! Black it is. Okay, no problem. I can handle one pair of white pants.
Andrew's team was stacked with talent and so very fun to watch!
After all of the highlighting and abbreviations are carefully noted, there are exactly four squares in the month of June that remain unscathed. Oy.
Proof of life. From the wheat field to the baseball field.
Alright, Susan. Get your game face on. You're no quitter. You are going to make this relationship work. In it to win it. In it to win it.
After three weeks of running the home team back and forth and back and forth in the snack wagon to game after game, it all started to catch up with me. I did the thing you don't do in baseball.
Though the boys had everything going for them, they each had amazing coaches and fantastic teammates and were all having the time of their lives, I was not having quite as much fun. In fact, I was barely keeping it together.
We were on a rotation of cereal, peanut butter and jelly, and frozen pizza for supper. Mmmm, healthy. Gotta feed those athletes right!
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of malnourishment I have no fear, because other parents bring treats to every game. I confess that I used to cuss the whole treat thing.
Not this year. Thank you, parents and coaches, for the Oreos and Cheetos. Bless you.
It wasn't just the evening meal and order and structure and cleanliness that was missing from our lives, there was also always a glove, a hat, one cleat, the car keys, the stroller, and water bottles that went missing, too (mysteriously of course).
At the end of every day, all I could say was Jesus, mercy and beer me (as my friend, Kathryn, puts it so honestly).
Mom, did you see my triple?
Gosh son, I wish I could have, but I was too busy fishing second hand choke hazards out of your brother's mouth. But, good job!
Strapping little Goliath in the stroller didn't work all that well either. My baby was just learning to walk, and the ball diamond was his oyster. Perfect timing for finding your wheels, son. Per-fect.
One night, exhausted after the final round of games were over, I just sat in my stinky car, staring at my stinky self in the rear view, when my dearest Henry came around and opened the door for me.
Even the Pope couldn't talk him out of wearing those red socks.
I love Henry's intensity. His enthusiasm for the game warms my heart. He is 100% all the time.
Thank you, mom, for taking me to every single one of my games this season.
I love baseball so much.
I want to play it for the rest of my life.
You're welcome, Henry. You're so very welcome.
And, just like that, I knew with certainty that the break-up wouldn't last.
For the love of my boys, I'll never be able to stop loving you, baseball.