For the record, I never wanted Ethan to play Little League baseball.
As it turns out, he might actually be good. Not "start sending out the talent scouts" good, but good enough that he doesn't drag the team down, which was what I feared might happen. (Ethan's lucky to have such a supportive mom, isn't he?)
In the meantime there's a lot of driving, plenty of buying, a little fund raising, way too much required involvement, organizing, reminding and pestering (i.e. "go get changed for baseball practice," "let's get in the car...now...please get in the car," "do you have your water bottle? Don't forget your water bottle.")
Little League is a lot of work.
Last night was the first game of the season. It was also the first time that Ethan used a "cup" while playing. (Evidently he was supposed to have a cup all along, but no one said anything to me and how in the world was I supposed to know?)
I purchased the cup which was size "youth." The other size options were "pee wee" and "teen."
Minutes before we were supposed to leave for the game, Ethan finally gives in to my pestering and starts to get his uniform on. Right away, there is a problem.
The cup is uncomfortable. It hurts. He's in pain. Mortal pain, or so it seems.
He starts to become upset. He claims he can't run, stand, sit, bat or catch wearing the cup. He doesn't want to go to the game.
This is not what I want to hear.
Robert is not home from work, we need to leave in 15 minutes to get to the game, and I'm starting to chant "I hate stupid dumb baseball" in my head.
I tell Ethan to get dressed anyway and wear the cup and that I would try and figure something out. Of all the parenthood things I am not prepared for, "proper athletic cup fitting" makes the top of the list, hands down.
Robert comes home from work and is unfortunately almost as clueless about the cup as I am, which is really not fair, since this falls cleanly into his section on the Venn diagram of parental responsibility.
I finally decide that I will drive from store to store (did I mention this was during rush hour?) to find a cup in a bigger size, then come directly to the game where Ethan will hopefully be able to make a discreet change-out. This is when I may or may not have added swear words to the silent "stupid-dumb-baseball" chant in my head.
Two stores later, I've got a new cup. Of course this whole thing is a joke because, as mentioned earlier, the next cup size up is teen. But, I decide this is an exercise in martyrdom, so I persevere. I purchase the teen sized athletic cup and drive to the game which is under way.
Here's what I find:
Ethan, in the dugout, with his teammates, in the line up to bat. He's smiling, he's showing interest in the game, and laughing with his teammates. He's not walking funny or crying or moaning in pain.
And Ethan did great. He batted twice and each time hit a line drive right between first and second. The first time he scored, the second time he had the RBI that ended the game.
I still don' t love baseball, and I expect that over the coming weeks I will probably hate it again. For now, let's just say that as far as I'm concerned, baseball's got one strike.