I found myself at a 4-way stop this afternoon, belting out Whitney Houston. After several seconds of sitting at the stop sign, I realized I did not, in fact, have to continue sitting there indefinitely. I don't know if I was waiting for the (nonexistent) light to change or what, but I was definitely distracted, and not by the stellar Whitney lyrics. Do you know what had my mind so pre-occupied, dear reader?
Yessir, baseball socks. My three boys are playing Little League this year, and let me tell you, it's an experience heretofore unmatched by any other. And we've only had one week of practices!
First, let me tell you about the practice schedule. Between the three boys, we have 8 practices a week, plus extra voluntary ones for my oldest son. Thankfully, a couple overlap, so we haven't had to take a sleeping bag and build a shelter. Yet. When the games start, I am told the older boys have 30 games or so EACH. I am not sure how many my youngest son will have, but if it's more than one, it's gonna be cray-cray. But I was given this reassuring piece of news: The older boys' games are "only 2.5 hours long". That is an actual direct quote. I wouldn't kid around here. For realsies.
Secondly, there is a whole lotta paraphernalia involved in America's Pastime. At their first practices, the boys came home with a laundry list of uniform items they needed, ranging from socks (re: my mental engrossment at the stop sign) to cleats to belts to pants to all manner of protective accoutrement (I shall leave it at that, so as not to alarm any of my more delicate readers). It was enough to make a girl run for the hills. Instead, I ran to Facebook to poll all of my 771 closest friends on where I could find the cheapest cleats. And also ask - what the heck is the difference between soccer cleats and baseball cleats? Because we got a bunch of soccer cleats around this joint. I was informed, however, that those will not do. They are missing a little cleat on the toe that would render a baseball player useless were he to attempt to play without it. I was, however, informed by my dear Facebook family that I could find some used ones at a store nearby. Home run!
The boys and I also had to sign a code of conduct. It seems that there are some people who play baseball (or parent children who do), who don't play well with others! We had to agree to respect the coaches, not swear or drink in the park, not yell at the umps and several other things that seem like common sense, but are apparently NOT. What is the world coming to?
Ok, so this sounds like a whine fest, doesn't it? It all is a bit. . .daunting, I admit, but the upside is that the boys are really enjoying so far. And while sitting at the ballpark for basically the entire months of May and June doesn't sound as good as say, sitting on the beach, I am looking forward to watching my boys play and improve. And I am oh-so-happy with all three of their coaches. Each boy has a coach who is encouraging and challenging, as well as understanding of our family's other commitments. Last week was Holy Week, so the boys had to miss a couple practices for church. One of my son's coaches even said "faith before baseball" when I told him we had to miss practice.
It's going to be a crazy couple months, but we're ready to step up to the plate and take it one base at a time. I know, I know! But did you know there is a whole glossary full of baseball idioms? Seriously, the internet has everything! I had to use a couple of them.