Thursday, August 29, 2019

On Being a Baseball Mom

It started with T-ball when Bob was five. My job was to buy him a (tiny) glove and (tiny) cleats, get him to practice and games and cheer him on from the bleachers. Those first few years in the stands, I learned a lot about the importance of (SPF30) sunscreen and a (giant) sun hat.

As Bob moved into club baseball in addition to Little League, I was volun-forced into keeping score - first on traditional paper scorekeeping templates, then on an app. Because I had yet to internalize the rules, this was a big stretch for me, requiring a lot of time and error and strenuous use of the "un-do" button on my phone. My sunscreen use became more stringent (SPF 50) and the brim circumference on my sun hat reached peak life guard standards.

When Bob began playing for multiple teams, every day was spent in the stands at various fields. We traveled to exotic places with names like Covina, and El Monte, and South El Monte. We drove to Las Vegas (SPF 100) and flew to Hawaii (Zinc broad spectrum coverage). My hat of choice resembled that of a bee keeper.

Mr. Rosenberg and I had, at best, rudimentary knowledge of the game going into this baseball experience, but now find ourselves watching MLB games on TV even when Bob isn't home. I'll let you sit with that for a moment. I understand what WHIP stats are and know the ins and outs of the infield fly rule. Who am I?

Through baseball, and the hard-work of terrific coaches, the boys learn teamwork and perseverance, how to work hard towards specific goals, push physical limits, and how to implement change from constructive feedback. As a baseball mom, I can say I've learned the same. The other parents and coaches are my team. I can wrangle a complicated carpool map with ease. My hat of choice is now a large golf umbrella. I have an extreme farmer tan. The inside of my car looks like a Big 5.

Baseball is shaping Bob into a responsible young man. and I wouldn't trade my own experience for all the sunscreen in CVS.