Boring Baseball Blather
I know those of you whose children are still small can't understand. But it's not the warm fuzzy little league ball you see in soft focus Hallmark commercials.
Competition to make the team is fierce. And once you're in, the level of competition is about 100 times more intense than rec league ball. You have to be in it to win it and if you're not, you sit. If you bitch about being tired or hot, you sit. If you're late to practice you run laps. If you miss signs, you run laps.
Like I said...serious business.
So...my kid made the team. He's played Allstars before, with mixed enthusiasm on my part. But it's important to him, so...sigh...he plays.
We took last summer off because the coach for the 13 year old team (Pubescent One plays up due to his birthdate) was the same Coach we had played with for two summers, and I'd had enough of him.
Still, I let my son try out, because it meant so much to him. Baseball is his passion.
As it turns out, the feeling was entirely mutual. At the World Series in Charleston, Husband had to take him aside and tell him his behavior was completely inappropriate, because he was throwing a tantrum in the dugout that would put a two year old to shame. He did not like being confronted about his behavior, and so, he punished my child by not choosing him for the team.
Whatever. I didn't care. I was glad not to have to deal with him. But my kid was crushed.
So anyway, here we are again, with a different coach, who is about 100 times more chill. He's a really positive upbeat guy. It's intense, schedule wise. We generally have only one night a week off, between games and practices. But we're all enjoying this season a whole lot more.
This year, I was smart enough not to volunteer to be Team Mom. Again, for those of you whose children are small, I realize you have no frame of reference for what a HUGE job that is.
Team Moms are responsible for fundraising, equipment ordering, booking accomodations for away games and World Series, organizing our home tournament including concessions, vendors (t-shirts, snow cones, moonbounce, etc.) and competitions (Home Run Derby, Speed Pitch, etc.), purchasing spirit wear, sponsor plaques, trophies, team sponsorship banner....and so much more.
I did it once. I will never do it again.
But I did say I would help. The Coach's wife, for those of you who didn't read my last blog post, has an infant and her life is hectic enough.
I volunteered to put together the team book for Dizzy Dean District and State Tournament, and ordering Roster shirts. I may end up ordering trading pins and towels as well, but that's fun.
Trading pins are a huge deal for the kids. Each team designs their own trading pin, which they swap at the World Series. It's a big deal to be the team with the coolest most sought after pin. All the boys get a towel embroidered with their number, upon which they display their pins. They wear the towels clipped to their belt so everyone can see their pin, as well as any that they have available for trade.
So anyway...my first task was to acquire a birth certificate, a current photo, a copy of an insurance card, and a Consent To Treat form for eleven kids, as well as liability forms, a handwritten team roster in triplicate, a pitching record, and a team photo.
All of this goes into a book which has to be presented at a credentials check meeting prior to the Championships.
Again, it's very serious business. If the book is not in perfect order, the team does not play in the District or State Championships. If there are questions about a player's age or his liability which cannot be satisfactorily resolved by the documents on hand, he is not eligible to play.
But it sounds easy enough, right?
I've been working on this flipping book for two weeks.
Let me ask you, do you know where your child's birth certificate is? Do you know the difference between a copy and an origianl? Do you know what "notarized" means? Do you know what "current" means? Would you enjoy the privilege of having your child receive medical attention, should he be injured during a game?
Wouldn't you think TWO WEEKS would be enough time to allow for gathering those documents?
And yet, tonight, at the game, I was still begging parents for forms. In fact, I had to go to the home of one player after the game, because the Dad forgot they were needed, like...tomorrow. Forgot, despite the three squillion emails I sent out. AND, I had to take pictures of several of the players myself and then print them out at home.
But it's cool. Because this is just one headache and not a hundred that I have to deal with this summer.
Here's a word of advice from a seasoned sports Mom...
It takes a lot to keep a team together, so please do volunteer. It can be really rewarding and fun and it's a great bonding experience to have with your child.
But don't be Team Mom unless you have a teflon hide, nerves of steele, and the ability to defy the laws of time and space.
Just trust me on that one.