God sometimes gives us unexpected gifts. Our gift has been a grandson who enlivens our lives and makes retirement very different than the one we anticipated. He is a special joy. And that's "Casey." In 2006 we fulfilled our dream of living in Italy for a year. It was every bit as wonderful as anticipated. This blog begins in 2005 as we prepared for that experience. Since then we have explored many places together. That's the "Travel." And finally, I am a person of opinions--spiritually, politically, on just about anything and that's the "Other Stuff." Welcome to my blog.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Little League and Me--True Confession

We had four kids, well, we still have four children plus one now. Thirty some years ago we were in Little League hell--a marathon of practices, games, snack stand duty, parties, tournaments of champions and All-Stars. One thing I never did was agree to assume the onerous title of "team mom," but somehow there were a myriad of other duties.

More than one year we had kids on four different teams in three different leagues, totaling a minimum of 12 practices and games a week. I can not count the number of snack stand duties I filled. We were often the team party house for barbecues and swim festivities and end-of-season team ceremonies. You know, the ones where the coaches all get plaques and the kids get trophies. Between the four kids we could have built a special room to display all the trophies. If you played, you were rewarded. Of course, in time gaining a trophy was rather meaningless.

During all of this time I was a "working out side of the home" mom. Juggling hours and minutes became a matter of skill and determination. We speak now as if the concept of "multi-tasking" is new and somehow a discovery of the younger generation. Not so--women have multi-tasked since the beginning of time. Perhaps it's considered a new state of being because men have finally discovered it.

Anyway, my confession--I kept my fingers crossed at the end of every season, hoping against hope, that my kids' teams would not go too far in the Tournament of Champions and that none of the kids (I can't say boys as our daughter played, too) would make All-Stars. As I cheered and supported and told them how great they were, in my heart I was hoping for failure. And I didn't even feel guilty. I wanted a life where we could camp, vacation, have some family time.

So--it was with no nostalgia when the day came that it was all behind us. I left the ball fields with no regret and no turning back. That part of parenthood was over--or so I thought.

This Sunday we are hosting the Little League team end of the season, passing out trophies, swim, barbecue party. There will be 21 kids (brothers and sisters invited) and 22 adults. Yesterday we invested in a pool basketball set and new pool toys. Tomorrow we hit Costco to get hotdogs, hamburgers and buns. How did we ever get to this place we left so many years ago?

The answer, of course, is Casey who has begun his collection of trophies--baseball, football, soccer and basketball. He's only 10 and has two shelves full. Sadly, they carry no meaning.

His team did not go very far in the Tournament and so that is over for us for this year. I'm pretty sure he would have made the All-Star team except we had completed the form saying he would not be available. Summer is our time and Italy and France await.

So--de jévù. I'm glad the season's over and life can begin again. Of course, Casey is never to know this as he believes that our days at the field are treasured...and...in a way they are.

Look at that form!!


nancyhol said...

Jane, life has a way of throwing you curves, doesn't it!

Actually, I think that raising Casey is keeping you and Ken young! No rocking chairs for you two!

Chiocciola said...

Great entry Jane! And so true, women have been multitasking since the beginning of time!

The whole trophy thing is pretty interesting - while I am all about an inclusive sports environment, giving a trophy to everybody all the time seems too much! Then it is not special to anybody.

Gil said...

Great story! Here's what this country is coming to; I recently read a letter to the editor of a local paper from a mother, she signed her name, complaining that she had to sign up for 'volunteering' in the snack stand! She claims that because she paid the registration fee therefore, she should be exempt and where did all of the money go. A few days later she was hammered by quite a few other letter writers!

Anonymous said...

Great entry, Jane. You know that I can relate! I always did what I did/do because it was consistent with what I thought a good parent should do. Going the extra mile was just part of who I am. Of course, you deserve a gold medal for doing it a second time. Frankly, parents who complain that they are too busy to volunteer make me crazy. I do agree that the trophies are pretty meaningless!

Casey looks like a natural on the field. I am sure he would have made the All-Star Team. I was also guilty of wishing for limited success in playoffs!

Marcia said...

I totally understand, except that our sport was soccer (the son who loves baseball now was not very good at Little League); we juggled two daughters on traveling teams, rearranged vacations, did 4 years of high school football with our son and seven straight years of high school varsity soccer. We actually loved each and every moment, and had a hard time adjusting to life without kids in sports. Luckily travel has filled that void.

girasoli said...

I remember the trophies my brothers used to get when I was little. I doubt they even remember them today. Just one question.

Jane said...

Hi, all.
I thought this would resonant with many. Gil, so good to have you drop by--it's been a while and I wondered where you were.

Nancy, I'm in a lazy boy as I type--is that a rocking chair?

Girasoli--what is the one question--I'm very curious now.