Monday, October 11, 2010

The Mommy Factor, or Pulling Yourself Together When It Matters

Friday, April 16, 2010

First, I should probably make a confession. I hate baseball. Now, I know that sounds un-American, but I don't mean that I hate Babe Ruth, the Yankees, or the great American pastime in general. In fact, I love attending professional games in big cities or watching the local farm teams with my family. I especially love the Baltimore Orioles, and I've even enjoyed some high school and little league games. Of course, I love seeing my own children play more than anything. What I hate is the last several years of unorganized children's baseball that we have plugged through. Knowing no schedule until the last minute. Finding out every Monday whether or not you have practice that night. Being told there will be no practice or game over Spring Break, making other plans, then being told at the last minute that there is a scrimmage after all. Having several of your children's teams - within the same league - schedule regular practice at the same times in different places and expecting you to be two or three places at once. Perhaps the more dedicated baseball moms can handle it. I am ready to leave it behind and spend more energy on the bajillion other activities in which my kids are involved.

So you can imagine that I was not a happy camper last night when I arrived at the park where we have been playing all season to find out that our team was not playing there. The schedule said we were playing on Field 1. This park had a Field 5 and a Field 6. I am new in this town, and I had missed the memo that Field 1 is not at this park. Field 1 and one other field stand alone in a separate park on the other side of town. I tried to call the coach but could not find his number. I checked my email on my iPhone; there was no email that we would be playing in a different place. I tried to pull up the schedule or a map to where I needed to go online. I couldn't find anything. I finally went to ask the guy who was supposed to be in charge of the league, and who was at the park where I was. He snapped my head off. He did give me directions, though, and I finally found the place where we needed to be, after trying to get the information for about 45 minutes. We were only 15 minutes late for the game.

At this point, I got my son to his field and retreated to the ladies' room. I needed to be alone. Driving around in strange areas where I don't know where I'm going further frustrates me. I did not want to be at this game. I wanted to go home and get a nice cup of coffee. For those of you who are reading this and think I was being utterly ridiculous, you are right. I didn't need to let myself get that upset. The reason I'm publishing this anyway is because I know there are others reading this who have been in exactly the same situation. I decided to pull myself together and go back and watch my son play baseball.

Then it happened. The pitcher threw the ball. The coach had told my son to try to bunt it. He choked up on the bat and swung. The ball hit his finger. He bent over, said, "OWWW," then shook it off and was getting ready to bat again. Until he saw the blood. Some males just don't do well with the sight of their own blood. He came off the field and I ran over to him, not sure whether his finger was broken and I needed to scream and let him know Mommy was here, or whether it was just scratched and I needed to hold back and not embarrass him in front of his friends. I opted for the less dramatic approach and tried to calmly look at his finger. The coach had already seen it and said, "You need to take him to the hospital." I rushed him out to the car and started trying to think of the best way back to the hospital. I really am not good with directions and was not sure exactly where I was. I took my iPhone out to call my husband, and dropped it on the ground and broke it. This day just kept getting better. I realized the GPS was in the other car, with my husband. OK, I just had to be calm and get to the hospital. I drove out of the ball park and started to turn left, the way I had come, to go back to the highway.

Suddenly I felt a shift inside myself. The anxiety was gone instantly. The whining about my bad day stopped. I did not feel lost or confused anymore. Peace took over. I remembered someone saying the ballpark was just past "Kidville." I knew where that was, and it was close to the hospital. I pictured the map in my head. If I turned right instead of left, Kidville should be over the next hill. I turned right and got to the hospital in less than five minutes. Anyone who knows me knows that I am absolutely horrible with directions. Was it the Holy Spirit telling me where to go, or just a God-given mothering ability to pull yourself together when you have to? I don't know. What I do know is that the complaining, whining (if only to herself) girl at the ball park was gone, and Mommy was back.

"Hey, Mom!" I heard from the back seat. "If I learn how to fence left-handed while my right hand is broken, then I'll be ambidextrous. When I'm having a sword-fight and someone asks why I'm smiling, I can say, 'Because I know something that you do not know. I am not left-handed!'" Apparently, my son is going to be fine as well. He may lose his nail, but the fracture in his finger should be healed in a few weeks. His greatest problem may be the warped sense of humor he has inherited from his parents.

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