I promised myself that I would get to go to more softball games this year. Afternoon games are hard when you have to leave work SUPER early but this year is important. It’s always important. But you know what I mean.
Today, I got to see my kid play AND somehow I was roped into keeping the scorebook. I haven’t done that in a million years. You can tell by all the mistakes I made. Ha.
The games were at my old high school and I’d be lying if I said that it wasn’t a strange walk down memory lane. I mean…that’s where I met my husband. The guy I was standing next to tonight keeping track of runs and strikes and outs – watching our kid play one of her first games of her senior year.
Time is weird, you guys. My kid is the same age I was when I met The Dude. Watching her play softball where we met is just funny.
It was strange and awesome and completely perfect timing.
The past few days have given me pause top post anything here until I get over my rage. Okay, I haven’t had constant rage for a week, but…well, a good part of it. Our life is insane with two parents sharing tasks. So you can imagine what the insanity looks like when there is only ONE parent. And by the mention of my rage, you can probably guess that the solo parent is ME.
But here’s the thing: I do not have rage because I am solo-parenting it right now.
I have (had) rage because it has also been one of those weeks were SO MANY THINGS have gone wrong. Things that would’ve complicated a regular week. And, yes, some of my frustrations came from breakdown in communication with everyone in my family. It’s good that I know when there are schedule changes for school, practice or lessons. You know, so I can get people where they need to be. I believe there was a child of mine that wasn’t super careful or watchful and the dog ate something she wasn’t supposed to. That’s ALWAYS pleasant. Then there is the getting ready for an out of town tournament. And coordinating all things under the sun so that everyone is where they need to be.
It has been trying. And, honestly, a lot of damn time in the car. In rush-hour traffic. And trying to figure out how we’re just going to make it all work. Especially getting everyone packed and ready to go.
I only hope that I didn’t forget to pack anything.
Spoiler Alert: I PROBABLY FORGOT ALL THE IMPORTANT THINGS.
But? I’m super looking forward to a fun weekend. Hanging out with some of the funnest parents a softball team has ever seen. I get to see one of my very dearest, wonder-twin friends. And? I’m just telling you all now that I am OFF DUTY as soon as my husband gets back into town. Well, when he gets back into town and then after he drives the three hours to the tournament. BUT THEN.
What am I going to do? Well, watch softball, of course. But I’m not making ONE meal, driving anyone anywhere or cleaning up after ANYONE. Off-Duty is going to be awesome.
I knew going into this weekend that I would probably make an ass of myself somehow. Just getting through a normal day without inflicting harm upon myself is a huge accomplishment. Signing on to play a charity softball game? Well, that’s just asking for trouble.
Yesterday, my daughter’s competitive softball team participated in a Play for Pink charity softball tournament that benefited a local chapter of breast cancer awareness and research. However, instead of the girls playing, it was the parents. And the girls were our coaches. It was a wonderful idea! Clever and fun!
I was just as surprised as anyone when I agreed to this. My lack of athletic ability isn’t what any of us would call a secret. It’s amazing that I’ve made it through training and participating for several running events without falling or breaking anything. ::knocks on wood:: But I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t terrified of getting injured. In fact, in the days leading up to the tournament, I had pretty well freaked myself out about the possibility of getting pegged in the head with a softball. No helmets + amateur, out of shape parents = ME GETTING PEGGED IN THE HEAD WITH A SOFTBALL.
I mean…it’s basic math. Right there.
Despite all the warning signs and math problems, we packed the ice chest and BBQ, laced up our tennies and headed out to the softball field yesterday morning. We played catch, warming up…for whatever it was worth. Yes, it’s good to warm up those muscles…and yes, it helped to get us going and moving and out there. But yeah…I wasn’t sure how much it would actually help me play an actual game of softball.
Which brings me to my second fear: STRIKING OUT.
I was somewhat expecting to strike out whenever I was up to bat. I can hit the ball ok during family softball practices…but I was pretty worried about softball stage fright when it came time for me to be up to bat in an actual game with people who don’t love me like my family does. I guess I just didn’t want to embarrass my kid. Or…myself.
I switched off playing outfield in the first game. (Yes, the first game. Because I soon learned that there would be THREE.) And a little ways through the game, it was my turn to be up at bat.
Now what I’m going to tell you, is that I’m a very impatientbatter. I just want to GET IT DONE. So I swung at the first pitch like I had been doing this all my life. And, not only did I make contact, but I hit it somewhere near the shortstop. I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT HAPPENED AFTER THAT…because I was RUNNIN. And I made it to first. Not only had I actually hit the ball, but I was safe! And yes! It probably had everything to do with an error in fielding, but shut up. I made it to first…and dammit let me celebrate because all my excitement is about to come crashing down.
I can’t even tell you who was up to bat after me, but they hit the ball right near the second baseman. Force and all that, I was out. But I didn’t even have time to be bummed, because that sonofabitch playing second was trying for a double-play at first base. And HOLY SHIT I WAS IN HIS WAY OMG MY WORST FEAR IS ABOUT TO HAPPEN I’M ABOUT TO GET BEANED IN THE HEAD.
So I ducked.
And then I ate dirt.
Because Momentum, being the bitch that she is, well…she took me right down to the ground. Ducking so that I wouldn’t get hit in the head meant I would hit dirt. Knees scraped, hands raw…sunglasses down HITTING DIRT. For a split second, I do believe I contemplated staying there. BECAUSE WHY NOT.
But I didn’t.
I had some dusting off to do, and some filthy sunglasses to retrieve, as I made the walk of shame from between first and second bases to our dugout. Small blessings as they are, I was the third out, so many of our parents were headed out to take the field. I had a minute to pretend that I wasn’t embarrassed as that transition created a distraction for all of us. I searched for my mitt so that I could head to the outfield.
Except for that’s not what happened. Because I got benched by my own kid.
Being one of the captains of her team, Beezus helped lead the team that called the shots of batting lineups and positions played. And apparently my epic display of athleticism wowed her to the point of benching me.
Insult? Yeah, let’s add you to my injury.
But hey, since I’ve got all this free time on the bench, I might as well laugh with one of the other moms and then Instagram a picture of my battle wound. BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT YOU DO WHEN YOUR FIRST RULE OF THE DAY TO NOT GET HURT GOES RIGHT OUT THE WINDOW AND YOUR KID TOTALLY BENCHES YOU BECAUSE YOU’RE A KLUTZ.
Laughing about it all the way home, as The Dude and I also lamented at how sore we both are, I stop and read the comments on a picture I posted on Facebook.
I tear up as my aunt tells me how special it is that she’s one of the people we played for. And I’m reminded why I wanted to play in the first place. Because if these amazing women in my life (and people all over the world) can fight to kick cancer’s ass, I can totally make an ASS of myself out on a softball field for them…and for a really wonderful cause.
Do I hurt like hell today? Yes. All the things hurt, especially my knee.
But a great day, with great and wonderful people for an amazing cause makes it all worth it.
Although, amazing people and excellent cause aside for a minute, I have to tell you…I didn’t strike out. Not even once. Like, hit that ball better than I ever thought I would. Even impressed my family!
Yeah, sure…I also embarrassed them with my graceful face-plant in the dirt. But let’s let me have my moment.
There’s something about an “all hours of the day/night” Labor Day weekend softball tournament that makes you question everything about letting your child play competitive sports. Because I’m not joking. I really meant ALL. HOURS. OF THE NIGHT. And it’s the reason why I’m not sure that I’ll ever catch up on sleep or ever feel human again. It’s also the reason I just found 17 typos in just this first paragraph alone.
For the record, I love my children. I love to support them in all that they do. But since even Beezus hates this tournament, I don’t feel bad telling you how much I hate it, too.
Just to give you a visual that you don’t want, the tournament starts Friday night. Beezus’ first game wasn’t until 10:30 Saturday morning. The next game? Not until 2am Sunday morning. And then another game at 5:30 am. The next game times depend on brackets and game scores, so we didn’t find out until later Sunday afternoon that the next games would be at 10:30pm…and then the winner of that game (which was my kid’s team) would advance to the next round. That particular game would start sometime around 12:30 or 1 in the morning. (And? Let’s be honest…we were a little glad they didn’t win that game because the Championship game was scheduled to START at 5am Monday morning. Ugh.)
Sounds fun, right?
After that first game Saturday morning, I spent most of the afternoon getting a few things done while making sure that Beezus gets enough rest. I also made arrangements for Ramona to stay the night somewhere so that I could go to the Saturday night/Sunday morning games. There wasn’t really time for me to sleep because, well, because that’s part of being a parent. There are still things that have to be done even if I know I won’t be getting much sleep.
And I didn’t.
But I will tell you that there are some benefits of being sleep deprived. Well, there are benefits to choosing to hang out with your kid instead of catching a few hours of sleep.
After the (very early) Sunday morning games, Beezus and I head out in search of waffles. And…probably Eggs Benedict. Because DUH EGGS BENEDICT. I had no idea how I was going to stay awake for this breakfast, but it was one of those times where there was no way in hell I was saying no. Sleep deprived hilarity ensued, but it was so much fun to have an early morning date with this kid. We may have been laughing so hard that nearly the entire restaurant turned to look, but that might’ve been my imagination.
Now, because my kid burns thousands of calories a day with water polo and softball…and just regular life, I don’t mind telling your that she pretty much hoovered all the food in front of her. I’ve never, ever seen her be the boss of breakfast. But that’s a title she now has. She took no prisoners and showed no mercy. But the best part was as she took the last bite, she embraced her inner rock star diva.
But not only does she drop her fork like a boss, she says out loud:
“And THAT’S how you do it.”
I almost expected her to add “bitches” to the end of that sentence. But she refrained.