Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Boys of Spring

Thursday, May 13 - Hello all
In honor of the big game this Friday-Regional finals in case you haven't gotten word-and also in honor of the return of Friday Night Lights (about time) I am leaving this blog up until Monday.
Best to all

In the Majors, they are called the boys of summer. But for a mother of a high school baseball player, deeply embedded in post season play, they are the boys of spring. They are the boys, young men, who juggle school work, final exams, college applications for some, homework for most, jobs for a few and X-box for all. Once, twice, maybe three times a week, I sit on metal bleachers, the sun burning through the number silkscreened on the back of my gray team t-shirt, and cheer on the Chargers.

Hopefully, it is fair to say I am not a “crazy” baseball parent. But like the tree that falls in an empty forest, does a crazy parent know he or she is crazy? Perhaps not. But I try not to cheer an overthrow at first made by the opposing team, unless, of course, the game is close. I try not to yell at the umpire, unless he calls a ball that sails across my son’s collarbone a strike. After all, he is 6’5” and isn’t a ball that sails that high clearly and evidently outside the strike zone? Doesn’t a mother of such a son have an obligation, perhaps a deep seeded ancient right, to protest such a call? Under these specific circumstances, I’ll admit to yelling at the umpire, but by this point in the game, I am certainly too hoarse to be heard over all the other crazy parents yelling about the same call.

I am a parent who tries not to wince when a ground ball rolls under an infielder’s glove or when all the dads in the crowd yell “can of corn” as a pop fly sails into the outfield and the fielder runs in instead of out, allowing the ball to drop on the warning track with a thud. It’ll be mine making the error next time. Don’t they all make their fair share? No, I won’t wince, lest they all wince when it’s my son hanging his head and kicking at the dirt.

I try to be a parent who will text updates to my friend who can’t bear to watch a game that has taken a bad turn. I try to be a parent willing to change positions on the bleachers if that will mean a change in “mojo” so the team will start to hit. I try to be a parent who lets her daughter, who has been dragged to baseball games since she was one year old, have a hotdog from the concession stand, and…okay…an ice cream sundae, too. I try to be a parent who cheers until she is lightheaded from a lack of oxygen, who is brought to tears when her son hits a walk-off single, who takes pictures of another mother’s son hugging his father and then tossing that father aside when the sophomore girls appear, offering hugs of their own. I suppose all we parents try to do the same, and if one of us is crazy, we’re all crazy in our own due time.

Good luck to Chargers baseball as they advance to the regional finals.

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