M had his first (and second) baseball game this week. We somehow managed to avoid T-ball the last two years, but this year he really wanted to play, and so now he's a member of the Whitefield Farm League team.
Now everyone always gives soccer mom's a hard time for being too wrapped up in their kids' sports, but soccer was easy--six weeks, one practice a week (by the end of the season it was too dark to practice anyway), one game on Saturday, one hour long (at least one got rained out). The kids run around after the ball for an hour, not always in the right direction, get tired, go home. Done. Most parents don't know much about soccer, so they don't have a lot to say (except one notable game at which one dad alternated side-line coaching his kid and saying to those around him, "I don't know anything about soccer.")
Baseball is a whole 'nother ball game (ha!). First, we started way back in March (in the gym because there were still two feet of snow on the ground). And practices were an hour and a half long (you could see the coaches checking the clock every five minutes). And they kept getting cancelled because of other events being held in the gym (raising the ire of some...causing great releif in others, i.e. me). And lots of politics...people constantly chattering about how much it cost and why it cost so much (rumor has it it's because the commissioner's daughter's team got their names on the backs of their jerseys, gasp!), why aren't there hats, why wasn't my kid put on minor league instead of farm league. And on. And on. And on. Now we have two games a week, 5:30 warmup, with games from 6 to 7:30 or 8 p.m.
At Tuesday night's game, there was pretty steady chatter behind me complaining that the kids got four pitches (instead of three strikes), that every kid was played through (instead of three outs), and that every kid was on the field (instead of the standard, what, nine?). It really interrupted my reading (actually I did watch the whole game--and not just because I thought the other parents would judge me because I was reading--but also because I was actually interested in watching the kids play--especially mine of course--and how they progressed in just one game).
The good things about it are: a. The coach is great (he's M's best buddy's step dad, and really good with kids and totally not into threatening/shaming kids or cutthroat competition...he's helping them learn skills and have fun...which in my opinion is what it's all about); and b. the kids all seem to have a great time. M is in heaven. And although he claimed he didn't like being catcher, he did great--even stopping balls by the end, throwing them to the pitcher, putting his own protective gear on after every inning. I'm sure it was tiring, but he seemed pretty proud standing out there in his protective shell.