My butt feels like a cold slab of concrete but what do I expect after five hours on hard bleachers. Of course I brought a chair, but early on my 7 year old laid claim to it. Usually I would kick his little butt out and designate him to the blanket on the grass but his two older brothers played in two different baseball tournaments this weekend and I am extra guilty.
“Is it almost over?” he asks from the first inning of the first game to the last inning of the third.
“Almost,” I say, happy, that like a puppy he still distracts easily.
Skittles and pretzel through game one.
Hot dog and Slushie through game two.
Mr. Softee during game three.
As the youngest, it’s his job to join me at these games where his dad coaches and his brothers play because we support each other… and because he has nowhere else to go except where we schlepp him. Nope, life isn’t fair, no one promised him a rose garden and along with the cherries come the pits. Still, I acknowledge that sometimes, especially on the excruciatingly long games, or the cold, drizzly ones, that it sucks for him (and often for me as well) which is why he subsists on a steady stream of guilt foods. It’s disgusting but this is his payment for time served, as well as the cost of my peace of mind.
Our baseball game schedule is obnoxious causing many who don’t engage in youth sports to roll their eyes and sometimes their whole faces. Even myself.
Not that I don’t love watching the boys play. Many days the weather cooperates, the team makes it all look easy, my sons are on their game and every cheer brings me bursts of giddy happiness. But at times it is too much. It’s not just the games and the travel to them. There are the practices, the meetings, the laundry.
Even with all the trips to the snack bar, it’s a lot of sidelining for a 7 year old. Of course he has a bunch of other hostages to help entertain him. Sometimes, they have a catch or stomp up and down the bleachers or sit under them for some shade, ripping pieces of pretzel while they stare at a video game. It’s certainly not the worst way to spend a day.
“Great news,” My husband exclaims on the way home after one son’s episodic tournament of almost champions and the other’s crash and burn fiasco.
I am immediately afraid, sensing a catch.
“They changed the rules for 8U travel,” he booms.
Yup, a catch, and a throw, and possibly a bat to my husband’s head.
He turns around to address our 7 year old, “Hey buddy. You want to play travel ball this summer?”
My son’s eyes light up while mine start the slow rollback. I was sure I had at least one more year. Three boys playing travel means three times the insanity. It means me racing from first to second to third, just dreaming about going home.
I have no idea how I’m going to manage it.
But I do know that I’ll have a chair to sit in.