Thursday, June 27, 2013

Baseball and Sports Parents

A post with no photo of the day, just lots of baseball pictures and some grumbling about sports parents.  

I love watching baseball games....for the most part.  I love the baseball, not loving the sports parents quite so much lately.  A little background...Billy is on a new team this season.  He didn't make the cut for the American Legion team, but he was asked to play on the Senior Babe Ruth team.  It's the league that he played in last year.  We were so happy that he had a chance to play for the same coach in a competitive league!  He had worked hard, had a great attitude, and earned the spot on the team. Then the email arrived that put a damper on the whole thing.

This team has typically been made up of juniors soon to be seniors in our city. Last season they decided that this year would be different, they would open it up to kids that graduated that didn't make Legion but were good enough to play Senior most of the cities in the league.  Cool!  Except the junior parents didn't think so.  Apparently emails flew amongst them...and to the president of the travel league.  Not fair to their kids, too many players on the team, they didn't want the 4 seniors that made the team to be allowed to play.  We were blissfully ignorant about it all until the email from the travel president came out to address it days before the season started.

Excitement about the new team quickly changed to questions about what kind of hornets nest we were walking into.  Swell.  A whole new set of parents to meet that didn't want our kids playing on "their" team.  They all knew each other from previous years, we only knew a few.  I have to say, a few of them were very nice the first night...and continue to be.  Others, not so much.  The biggest challenge so far has been figuring out who not to sit by...because some sports parents and their habits are sort of hard to handle.

Some fans are large and in charge.  They take over the managing everything, telling people what to do and where to be.  Granted, it is usually helpful and necessary...but sometimes it's done with such a self-important air that it's hard to stomach.  Last year the coach handled it all, it was nice having a line of communication with him directly.  This year, not so much.  Try not to sit by the bossy ones.

Some fans are just plain there to socialize with the other mom's.  Yackity yack, loud laughing, no idea that the game is going on.  Harmless...but I'd rather watch the game and not get in on all the talk!   Try not to sit by the really social ones!

I posted the picture below just to show how curly Billy's hair gets when it's longer. :-)

Some of the fans are just plain loud.  Last year the loudest one was a positive yeller...only shouting out encouragement.  Other than the volume, that wasn't so bad!  This year the loudest fans aren't so positive.  It's hard for me not to say something to them about it...but at this point I don't think it would do anything but make me look like a bitch.  I will just say that screeching at 17 and 18 year olds to "COME ON" and "GET IT IN!" before the ball has even gotten to them isn't going to do anybody any good!  Try not to sit by the really loud ones...try even harder not to sit by the negative loud ones!

Some worry about things that you can't the weather.  Is it going to rain, it's too hot, it's too cold.  Yikes.  Thank goodness for the rainbows!

I'm glad that the kid is geared up for battle and oblivious to the fans in the stands.  I do hope that he notices the ones that are quietly there supporting him.  His dad groans about the umpire's strike zone sometimes...but not about the decisions the kids are making on the field.  There are some very negative Nelly's in the stands.  Some groan about every kid except their own perfect son.  Some even groan about them.  Try not to sit next to the grumblers and groaners.

I think everyone needs to remember that even if they are 17 & 18, they are still kids.  They are playing a GAME.  There doesn't need to be exasperated moaning when the other team gets a hit.  At this stage, they don't need our coaching...but they could use our encouragement and applause when they make a good play....and especially when they don't!  It's baseball.  It's summer.  We should be focusing on the beautiful sunlight at the games.

And take pride in how our kids handle tough situations....and maybe take some time to learn a few things from them. Like accepting that not everyone is going to play as much as they'd like.  That not everyone is perfect.  That trying your best is what matters.

That having a young, hands on, encouraging coach is a good thing.  That mistakes will be made but that's where the learning comes in.

That the sport can get dirty sometimes but it shouldn't be played in a dirty or negative way.

That whether it's a hit or of the most beautiful things is a nice level swing...especially when it's your boy doing it!

That sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, and sometimes it rains.  Name that movie!  And sometimes there are bugs that catch the sunlight looking like fireflies in my photos!  And sometimes my boy looks like a giant next to the other players.

It's a short season.  I need to stop listening to the grumbling and negativity.  I really need to stop grumbling about it myself and just enjoy the game.  And cheer when this boy gets a hit.

And remember that even though they miss some calls...the umpire's are right most of the time.  SAFE!

We're in the final stretch of all this baseball playing.  It's bittersweet.  I won't miss some of the fan interactions.  I won't miss the laundry.  But I will miss the game and watching the boy play.  I think that my best bet is to quietly take pictures so I can remember the good times.

The warm summer nights, the soft lighting, loving this kid and wondering what is going through his mind when he steps to the plate.  Hoping that he gets a hit...for his sake and for the team.

And enjoying the fact that because of his hard work and attitude last year, he gets to play one last season this year...and I am grateful for that.  He likes his coaches, he likes his teammates, and he loves the game.  What more could we ask for?

There are all sorts of people in the world...for some reason kids sports brings out the best or the worst in them!  We just need to's a game!  I'll end with something that I read today...I think it's worth remembering. "There is one perfect child in the world, and every mother has it."   Humm...maybe that's where all the trouble starts!   Something to think about.  OK...rant over...the end...let's play ball!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

June means Baseball

We've been busy with baseball this month.  The league that Billy plays in started after school was done.  Thank goodness.  Mostly games, not many practices.  He started the season as a hitting machine!  Now things have evened out a bit...but it was sure fun to watch.

Between weekend tournaments and evening games there has been a lot of baseball.  Trouble was, I needed to be getting ready for his graduation party and not going to games...and washing the uniform over and over again!  The day before the party meant scrambling to get things clean and ready.  The cat was worried that she was next!

We had a baseball themed party, we hoped that it wouldn't rain but rented a tent anyway.  It rained, for the first half of the party.  Baseball themed party meant Hot Dogs, peanuts (outside!) Cracker Jacks, and a keg of Root Beer.  It was a fun time, but it sure takes a lot of work to get the house and yard ready!  I made a slide show of Billy's growing up years...and that was the hardest part of the whole day!  It was emotionally hard for me to go through the pictures of the boys knowing that it really means an end of an era is here.  It was hard going through the pictures because there were so many of them.  Yikes.  But not many of the party...why does that always happen?

Party on Saturday, baseball on Sunday...only because he skipped Saturday's game so he could be at his own party.  I love the action in this shot!

Monday there was baseball too...the start of a string of home games.  That makes life easier!  I loved the sun setting behind him in this one.

No more kids in High School.  No more big events to plan for.  Not having quite enough to do at the moment has left my head spinning....sort of like this spinner in the garden.

What does a mom do that gave up a career to raise her kids when the kids don't need raising anymore?  I do have some ideas of things I'd like to do, things that I've been putting off.  I just need to start.

But it's figuring out where to start that is hard some days.  Maybe I just have to look at it as though I've been on deck for a while.  Watching, learning, waiting...and now it's my turn to bat.

Time to see if I can hit or if I'll strike out.  I worry about those darned curve balls though.

Weird analogy I guess...but I'm feeling like I'm at a crossroads.  Which path to take?

I just need to take a deep breath, and an Advil or two, and things will be just fine.

On a lighter note, did you see the big ol' super moon last weekend?  It was big and bright.  Here's a close up.  Are you howling at it?

Here's one with some leaves in front of the moon.  I haven't mastered setting the depth of field to get both in focus yet.  Maybe next time.

It's June, it's finally's been a muggy stormy week. The roses are blooming.

The Queen's Anne lace is blooming.

 The peonies are big, beautiful and fragrant.  There's a game tonight.  Summer has finally arrived.  Things are changing around here.

Changes. Changing days, changing seasons, changing lives. Changes keep things from getting boring I guess...but right now things are feeling a little too unsettled to me.  Time to step up to the plate and see what happens.  Wish me luck.  Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, June 24, 2013


It's June and these are photos from June...of the same year and everything!  Imagine that. :-)

This is one of the red flowers that I planted in the garden in the front of the house to get ready for the graduation party.  I think it's a type of Dahlia...but I don't know for sure.  It is a pretty deep red whatever it is!

The cat tried to stay out of the way during party preparations.  I can't blame her.  She found one of the few moments where the sun was out to sit on the back step.

Penny tried to stay out of the way too.  Not really.  As Penny has gotten older she has gotten very clingy to me...which ever room I am in, she is in.  She pants a lot, she has gas, and she's a shedding machine.  She is a very sweet dog and I try my best to be patient with her always being so close...but it's not always easy!

Brian on the other hand isn't under foot!  It's nice having him home again.  I took this picture one day when he came home from work...I think he looks good in black don't you?

Billy's last day of high the rain of course.  It's been a little hard to accept that my boys are truly grown men now!

When I feel blue about it I just focus on the flowers.  Pretty cosmos...not fitting in with my red and white color scheme but that's ok.  Pink is a form of red don't you think?

Graduation night.  Hi Billy!  There were somewhere around 750 kids in Billy's class.  He was the 10th from the last to get his went surprisingly fast!  My mom, Eric's folks, Brian, our friend Bob and Eric & I were there celebrating with him.  My mom pointed out that those last 10 plus the 5 kids in front of them would have made up my dad's whole class of 15.  That sure puts things in perspective of how different the boys lives have been from my dad's life!  I missed my dad more than usual that day!

We spent the night of graduation at the High School from 12 midnight until 5 a.m. working as security for the all night party.  What a long night.  I was worn out for two days after...I think I'm too old for this all night stuff!  The kids were safe and had fun though...and that was the point.  I stopped to smell the petunias that I planted in my hanging pots when I got home!  Well not really...petunias smell funny...but I did stop and take a picture or two.  I like the fuzz on the underside of the flowers!

Cosmos!  I should have been working on party stuff but I was taking pictures of cosmos instead.

Cosmos and poppies!  I know...they are orange and not red...but they are perennials in the back yard so that doesn't count!

The cool temps and cloudy days have been kind to the bleeding hearts.

I'll end with a rain dotted cosmos...clouds and rain....rain and clouds...have I mentioned that we are having a long spell of cloudy and wet weather around here?

I thought I might have once or twice.  Tough times for the farmers.  I hope that things are sunny and bright where you are!