Wednesday, June 15, 2016

A Perfect Game

My family is a baseball family.

Being the only female on the premises, my suggestions for using mani/pedis, blogging, or "meandering aimlessly around Target" as our signature family activity were widely discounted and immediately vetoed.

So, you know, baseball it is.

Sometimes that is tough for a girl like me.  I'm about as un-athletic as it gets, so if I wanted to participate in my family aside from cooking and cleaning and removing doorstops wedged in the floor vents, I was going to have to find my own baseball niche.

Occasionally I will play catch with Cael, but at eight years old he already knows so much more about baseball than I ever will, and he gets quickly frustrated when I ask him for the umpteenth time, "What is an error, again?"

I still don't know.  I think it has something to do with wearing white jerseys after Labor Day, but I could be wrong.

We are lucky enough to have a big backyard with an enormous play-set and a wiffle ball field lovingly carved into the grass, so there is rarely need to go to a park when we have many of the same amenities here at home.  I have to admit, however, that when we are so close to home, it's much easier for me to stay in the house and work on laundry or prep for dinner.  But if I'm always watching my boys play from behind the glass, will they grow up thinking that Mom wasn't interested in one of the most important parts of their lives?

I'm not okay with that.

So a few weeks ago, when my husband decided to take the kids to a real baseball field to practice for summer baseball, I decided that my job wasn't to do the dishes, but to come along and find a way to get involved.  Or maybe to prevent a concussion.  Time would tell.

When we inevitably forgot several items and my husband had to run home to retrieve them, I tried to make up baseball-ish activities for the kids to try.

"Run here!  Run there!  Turn the bat sideways and do that bunt... thing."

But when Adler quickly began to run off, I knew that wasn't my role.  I spent a few minutes ignoring baseball and chatting with the boys about the park around us, about the trees and plants nearby.  Adler tried to eat a pinecone, and I was relieved when Daddy returned.

For the next hour, I took photos.

I chased the toddler.
I tossed back the rare home run that flew over the fence.
I hid the pinecones.

In short, I wore myself out without ever getting to play baseball with my boys.  Later that night, as I was tucking the kids into bed, my six year-old, Graham, surprised me.

"Mom, I had so much fun playing baseball with you tonight!"

"But honey, I wasn't even playing.  Why was that fun?"

"You were there!"

As a mom, I know that I have a tendency to plan too much, to try to create moments of "awesome" every single day.  It made me really happy to see that even as my boys grow older, they still just want me around.  Maybe just being there is a home run itself.

...And all it took was a quick game of baseball.

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Leave your own "ism". Cael and Graham double-dog dare you.