Saturday, April 25, 2009

There's No Crying in Baseball

There may be "no crying in baseball" as Tom Hanks' character said in the movie "A League of Their Own", but at our house there is much weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth before baseball.

Our youngest son is playing baseball again this spring. He has played twice before, once in Fall Ball and once during the regular Spring Season. He was younger then and played in the Rookie Leagues. Well, being the big kid that he is, he's now in the Minors which means that he plays with kids his age and some older than him but the coach is still the pitcher.

When the notices were sent out earlier this year about signing up to play, our oldest son, James declined to play again. He decided that he'd rather focus on his favorite sport of football which he plays in the fall and just enjoy the days until the end of school without having practices or games. Sean, on the other hand, determined that he wanted to play again because he had a good time last year and he especially enjoyed the nickname--"Long Gone Sean"-- that the coaches gave him.

I knew that this meant a commitment from us, his parents, as well. We'd need to outfit him with all of his gear, as he'd outgrown his pants and cleats from last year. We'd have to provide taxi service to and from practices in our old neighborhood, about 15 minutes away. We'd need to attend his games and provide appropriate amounts of enthusiasm and support. These were all things that we'd been through before.

Wanna know what else we signed up for? Yeah, the crying and wailing before EVERY. SINGLE. GAME.

Each and every time we'd tell Sean to go get his gear on (with ample notice given for this transition, I might add) we were met with this response: "I don't wanna go! I HATE baseball! I didn't even wanna play! It's STUPID! I'm not going!!" And each and every time, one of us would say to him: "You ARE going. You made a commitment to this team when you signed up. When you decided to play, you also decided to be at all the practices and games. If you don't want to play next year, you don't have to, but this year the decision is already made. Now go get your gear on."

How does that definition of insanity go again? Oh, yes. I remember. It's doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Clearly, we are nuts. We meet that criteria perfectly. Next to the definition of "out of their everlovin' minds" you will find our pictures!

But here is the kicker--once Sean gets to the game, he has an absolute blast. You have never seen a child enjoy himself as much as he does. He's in the dugout chanting with his team. He's laughing with his buddies. He's taking his fielding position with enthusiasm. He runs the bases at full speed. Then afterwards he tells us what a great time he had.

When we remind Sean of all these things we are met with the most frustrating response you can hear in an argument: "SO?!?" It makes no difference what we say, he does not hear us--does not WANT to hear us. So we do mental forehead smacks and soldier on, knowing that he is going to have a good time despite his insistence that he HATES BASEBALL!

So today, and for the rest of the season, we will go watch, we will cheer and we will know with absolute certainty that Tom Hanks is a big, fat liar.

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