Blogs Are Stupid

Doesn't anyone believe in Dear Diary anymore? What happened to the joy of putting actual pen to paper? And why does every ordinary Jane and John think they can write well enough to burden the world with their scribblings? It’s a mystery that badly needs solving. My first entry contains my thoughts about blogging and will set your expectations. The rest will probably be stream of consciousness garbage, much like you’ll find on any other blog. Perhaps we will both come away enlightened.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

There's No Crying In Baseball

Diminutive One got his big break last night.

The coach put him on the mound in the third inning. The score was 5 to 4 in our favor. When he took the mound, he was smiling and exuded confidence. But I knew better. As he warmed up I winced at his stiffness, the slow deliberation as he went through his warmup, the mechanical motions that should have been so fluid and effortless. He was terribly, terribly nervous.

When the inning was over, the score was 9-4 their favor. Diminutive One was absolutely destroyed. He had walked in four runs, and not struck out even one batter. Nobody expected him to, of course. It was his first time on the mound, and frankly, I was impressed that he got up there at all and that he didn't bean anyone.

The first time Pre-Pubescent one came up to bat in kid pitch, he got nailed in the ribs by a wild pitch that resulted in a bruise from armpit to hipbone. I feared his ribs might be broken, but I guess the kid who hit him wasn't any stronger than he was accurate. The first time Pre-Pubescent got on the mound, he hit three batters square in the noggin. At least he was consistent.

So really, all things considered, Diminutive One did very well. But he didn't see it that way. He compares himself to his brother, who has been pitching for five years, and older, more experienced pitchers in his own league.

The coach finally pulled him and as he left the mound, his shoulders slumped in dejection. He dragged his feet and shuffled into the dugout. He was near tears, but I knew his pride would not allow him to cry in front of his teammates. Everybody knows there's no crying in baseball.

The coaches and his teammates were amazingly kind and positive, (except for one kid, but he's the worst player on the team so I don't know where he gets off) but he didn't want to hear it. He was mired in misery and nothing could pull him from the sucking black mud of his shame.

I wanted to hug him until he felt better. But of course I couldn't. Nobody wants their MOM in the dugout, much less to have their Mom in the dugout coddling them like a baby. I started to go over and offer words of encouragement, but Husband caught my eye and shook his head. My words, no matter how well intentioned, would not be appreciated or recieved with grace. He was right. So I sat back down and worried quietly in my camp chair.

For the rest of the game, Diminutive One was inconsolable. He asked the coach if he could sit on the bench so he wouldn't mess up anymore.

Diminutive One's way of dealing with embarassment is to become irascible and surly. This is to demonstrate that he doesn't care, when in fact, he cares very much.

He was positioned at third base, but refused to field the ball. My heartbreak for him turned to anger and embarassment. I'm never embarassed or angry when my kids perfrom poorly, whatever the endeavor as long as I know they were giving it their best effort. I am and angry embarassed when they don't try. I am embarassed and angry when they sulk. I am embarassed and angry when they just give up.

He's such a complicated kid. Sometimes I just don't know what to make of him. And sometimes it's hard for me to resist the siren song of "What is wrong with him?"

You would think, after pitching poorly, that he would go out there and do his very best, wouldn't you? Wouldn't that be the reasonable thing to do? To prove that though you might have screwed up, you're still willing to give it your all and be an assett to the team??

You would think. Wouldn't you? But you would be wrong.

When he got home, he went straight to bed without showering or speaking to any of us. When I went up to tuck him in, he was turned to the wall with the covers pulled over his head. He hasn't looked small to me for some time, but he looked small then. I heard the tinny strains of music as they escaped from the ear buds poked into his ears.

I stood there, deliberating. I wanted to tell him I was proud and disappointed and confused. But his coach and Husband both had already talked to him about his behavior. Anything further would be adding insult to injury.

I leaned over and kissed the top of his head. I pulled one ear bud from his ear and said, "I'm proud of you. And I love you."

He rolled over and reached out his arms the way he had when he was small. As I hugged him, he began to sob quietly.

There's no crying in baseball. But apparently, it's okay if you're in your own bed with your Mom's arms around you.

I think that goes for Moms too. It's okay to cry if your arms are wrapped around a quietly sobbing 9 year old who smells of glove leather, ballfield dirt and Gatorade.

Thank goodness.

17 Comments:

  • At 2:12 PM, Blogger dawn224 said…

    I'm kinda like your boy. And like him, one gentle word will break me. I once bawled in a profs office b/c she asked how I was like she actually cared about the answer.

    Hopefully next game will be better.

     
  • At 2:20 PM, Blogger thailandchani said…

    I like your boy, too. I like his honesty.. and his willingness to let down that "kid guard"... once he was home and safe with you.


    Peace,

    ~Chani
    http://thailandgal.blogspot.com

     
  • At 2:48 PM, Blogger Amy York said…

    Of course it's Ok to cry... I hope it was good for you both to get it all out!!

     
  • At 3:07 PM, Blogger flutter said…

    You said exactly what he needed to hear.

    He's a complex little thing, isn't he?

     
  • At 3:12 PM, Blogger JaniceNW said…

    In my similar baseball experiences with my two boys I realized I would never understand certain team "things" and I don't understand males. Not when it comes to baseball. My younger son used to be like your son. Now he's 16 pitching for an 18 and under team. He gets mad when his team doesn't take the game seriously.

    I found being the mom of the pitcher is very nerve racking. I'm glad he let go with you.

     
  • At 3:35 PM, Anonymous Momish said…

    Yep, you said the right thing that allowed him to open up and get it out. Once it's out, he can move on. Sometimes I think sports are a blessing for kids and other times a curse! Their egos are so fragile at that age to be put under that pressure.

    I hope he has fun the next game because that is what it is about, right?

     
  • At 3:38 PM, Blogger painted maypole said…

    i'm so glad you knew just the right thing to say... good mommy!

     
  • At 3:44 PM, Blogger Veronica Mitchell said…

    I am soooo like your boy. I have spent the better part of my life learning how to fail. I am not sure I have mastered the lesson yet. It's tough. You did great.

    I have started telling my toddlers whenever they fall down, "Why do we fall? So we can get back up." I hope they learn it more easily than I have.

     
  • At 6:27 PM, Blogger Mrs. Chicky said…

    Oh man, I'm all weepy over here.

     
  • At 7:48 PM, Blogger WI Mommy said…

    I hope it's okay to cry while reading someone else's blog about someone else's kid too. 'Cause I am.

     
  • At 7:52 PM, Blogger meno said…

    Perfect.

    He already knew all the things that his dad and the coach had told him.

    What he needed was mommy and hugs and a cry, not more words.

     
  • At 8:33 PM, Anonymous Manda said…

    Aww - glad he was able to find comfort in his mom. That's always a safe place, I'm 25 years old and when I have a terriable day.. all my mom has to do is ask what's wrong and I'll flood. She's always been my safe place. Moms are just good for that.

     
  • At 10:14 PM, Blogger bubandpie said…

    This post really got me - I spent most of it frozen at the thought of how few years I have left before Bub's old enough that he can't come crying to me over the things that hurt him...and then I got to the end. Sniff.

     
  • At 10:30 PM, Blogger Chaotic Joy said…

    I linked over from BubandPie and this post brought tears to my eyes. I am a critical parent and I commend you for showing grace and giving love without criticism. It was just what he needed.

     
  • At 8:42 AM, Blogger Trenches of Mommyhood said…

    This made my heart break.
    You're a wonderful mother.
    Thanks for sharing and for showing me yet another glimpse of my future.

     
  • At 1:01 PM, Anonymous Tela said…

    I guess there's crying in blogging b/c this made me tear up. You're a great mom. Hope I do as good by my boy when he's older.

     
  • At 10:01 AM, Blogger Mad Hatter said…

    Oh. Oh. This post was a punch to the gut. You write about your kids with such honesty and heart.

     

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