Baseball. The All American sport. Unless you’ve been to a 3rd grade suburban little league game. It’s not always hot dogs, peanuts and Cracker Jack©!
“Mother of the Year” – not me, but I do my best to fit my son’s schedule of “after school” activity (he only has 1) into my work schedule. I DO attend the little league games as much as I can. I’ll either sit with the rest of the Mothers and Fathers (about 6 on a good day) on the cold hard bleachers OR on a cold hard rock OR on the cold wet grass OR I’ll walk around for 3 hours, OR my all time favorite, I’ll just sit in my car and pretend I’m talking on the phone while I’m really talking to myself, but I’m in the vicinity…hey, I’m there don’t judge!
Big shout out to the coaches who give their time and energy to coach our “Little Leaguers” You have my fondest admiration. So when asked if I’d be the “Dugout Mom” of course I said “YES” without hesitation. No not really. I groaned, looked around in hopes they were asking someone else behind me and then said YES. STRIKE 1.
My job? Sit in the dugout, give the boys the batting line-up and gear up the catcher. Yup, they still need help getting dressed! A couple of cheers and done. Yes? Nope. I forgot these are 8 & 9-year-old boys, who can’t sit still. Baseball is boring – even for the players. Things were moving along smoothly until the top of the 4th and then all hell broke loose. Every boy hanging from the fence like Orangutans, playing some made up game – who can jump the highest and spit the farthest in unison. Then someone breaks out the Dugout Gum, yes DUGOUT GUM. With their dirty little leaguer hands grabbing and shoving the gum into their mouths, MORE GUM AND MORE GUM, trying to blow bubbles, like it was their duty. Forget the game. THEY ALL FORGOT THEY WERE THE PLAYERS! Here I am in control and I clearly had NO control. STRIKE 2
Threw my hands up defeated I sat down on the bench put my head up against the wall, closed my eyes and wished for the game to be over. Then some cute little leaguer came up to me and said, “Hey, Dugout Mom – you know your head is on all that chewed up gum!” What?! Chewed up gum?! Where?! In one swoop I jumped forward off the bench only to have my head yanked back by hair strands still clinging to the back of the dugout wall because they were stuck in freshly chewed up gum!!! Probably from my own team. Maybe even from my OWN SON’S mouth! Nauseated I took a good look at the dugout and GUM EVERYWHERE – on EVERY SURFACE! Looking closer this gum was sculpted into little shapes, and even 3D sculptures! I swear this gum even looked like prehistoric fossils on cave walls. Maybe trying to tell the stories of past games?! Again, repulsed and ready to leave my duties as Dugout Mom, my team is back out on the field and I’m back on the job. Time for me to suit up the catcher. Sweetly and inquisitively this little leaguer says to me, as I’m buckling his shin guards, “Is your hair purple?” I said, “Yes.” Then a bit frightened, he says to me, “Even as a little girl?” and I said, “Yes, just minus the gum!” Hmmm…thought maybe if he thinks I was born a bit odd, and a bit purple, he might tell the rest of the little leaguers on his team and they might go easy on me the next time they’re all back in the dugout! Not so lucky – STRIKE 3! And that’s my time!
P.S. This mom won’t be taken into the dugout anymore. Little League is now a DROP OFF sport in my family!
And that’s my time!