I tossed – or should I say “pitched” – my heart out to the world with this piece, a story of the bumps on the path of becoming a Baseball Mom. You can click here to see the article in its entirety, or read the next few paragraphs to get just a taste. It’s the girl you know, the one who nicknames sports equipment and occasionally cheers too loud for the wrong team.
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We’ve just finished my first season as a Baseball Mom. I’m not exactly new to the sports scene, as I am raising a football player whose jersey I’ve been stain-treating for many years now. But this was our first season of baseball, and that, my friends, was a whole different ball game.
My son’s dad loved football in the core of his being, and he instilled that deep love into our oldest son before he died six years ago. In my years as a single mom, in my determination to not flee from the things I didn’t understand, Tuck and I walked carefully onto the sidelines of his first football team. I learned important things. For example, it’s called practice, not rehearsal. They wear uniforms, not costumes. And it’s called eye black, not football mascara.
A year ago, I married Peter, the new dad our family had long prayed for. He brought a whole new heartbeat to our family, including a passion for baseball. He helped Tucker to understand that a man need not isolate with just one sport, and he educated us all with the names of many dual athletes, like John Elway, Michael Jordan, and most interesting to my Bronco-loving boy, Tim Tebow. He taught us all that the same arm that throws a touchdown pass can also pitch a shut-out inning.
And so, on the heels of the football playoffs, we signed up for our family’s first season of baseball. Peter was Coach, and I was the Coach’s Wife. There I was, launched yet again into the throes of a new vocabulary. I soon learned that they score runs, not points. The team is in the dugout, not the sidelines. Some items are transferrable, like Gatorade and sunscreen. But I’m still not allowed anywhere near the field, even if my player gets hit in the face with a pitch. (That was a hard lesson.)
I have to admit, when practices started while there was still snow on the ground in February, the season felt daunting. Football gave us one game a week; baseball sometimes called for two or three games in a weekend. In those early days, I felt like the end of the season was a whole marathon away. I wasn’t sure when we’d ever have a free weekend or even dinner together.
But now it’s over, and I’m sad. It can’t be over yet, not when I just learned . . .