Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Who's this game for anyway, them or me?

Ah the first signs of spring--the sun peeking through the clouds, the warm weather returning (before you laugh, we did have a coooooold winter by So Cal standards, but don't judge me), and Opening Day--little league for whole stinkin' town.  Pretty much everyone with kids in this small town joins little league when their kids are five, maybe even before, if they can.  We opted to stay out of little league last year.  T1 seemed way to squirrelly to focus on a game where he would need to stand in a field and pay attention to something going on about a mile away.  No, we chose to start this year.

When I went to sign up my very excited son, I learned that they had leagues for girls too.  T2 and T1 would both be part of this community wide event.  And I mean event.  Last year, when we tried to get kids over to play on Saturdays in spring, no can do.  Baseball game, sorry.  Maybe next time.  We were not going to miss it this year. They put them both on the same team.  How convenient, I thought.  This makes me so glad. No having to cart them to different practices and games that overlap.  Super.

So we show up on Opening Day and we see all of T1's cub scout troop are together on the Cubs (we're the Angels).  Then the rest of the first grade boys are on the Giants.  All the girls are on other teams for 7- and 8- year-olds who have been playing for 2 years.  When I ask them how they all turned up on teams with kids they know, they say, "Oh, we requested it.  These kids all played together last year." Our team has really little 6-year-olds and a couple of 5-year-olds.  None of whom we know. And none of whom played last year.

Here's the thing:  I am finding myself hugely bothered by this.  Why didn't anyone tell me I could choose a team?  Why didn't I put them in last year so they could be with their friends?  Won't they be angry when they have to play against all of their friends?  I guess my own insecurities come out.  I envision myself sitting in the stands, with moms I know, watching and cheering on our little darlings.  When we play the Cubs, I will see the moms I know in the other set of bleachers.  I might feel sorry for myself that I didn't get to be on that team.  But it's not about me, is it?  My kids aren't bothered that they didn't play last year.  They don't care that kids they know are on other teams.  They are not bothered by this at all.  They are loving getting to know all their new teammates.  And they love their coach.  Who's baseball for anyway, them or me? 

T1 with his team

 T2 checkin' her mit
Up at bat

On deck

I look at their smiling faces here, and I realize that little league is not about me being able to create a community of friends.  It's not about me feeling left out of the other team.  It's about them, learning to have fun in a sport that is about teamwork.  They're up to the task.  Maybe my maturity level needs to come up a bit.  And to think of it.  I thought they were too young..... 

Oh well, at least I got to go out to a fancy dinner afterward and order this:

Lobster salad from Crustacean


Fast forward to the next day's laundry.  Whose pants are whose?

It's gonna be a long season.....


notmytree said...

That's great! I am especially happy that they include girls. The Little League in my town was boys only for baseball. I know girls had softball teams, but it was nowhere near as big.

They sound pretty mature about playing against their friends. If conflicts do arise, though (crossing my fingers), it'll be a great experience to teach them good sportsmanship.

They look like they're having so much fun! Can't wait to see you guys again soon. XOXOXO

Existential Waitress said...

It's so exciting when your kids start extracurriculars! I love it! I kinda know what you mean about being bothered by silly stuff like the team sitution. We as parents begin to forge relationships with the parents of their friends and it takes some getting used to when the kids are ready (or are forced) to move on. I found myself in a similar sitation recently and was forced to question my own motivations just as you did. Great, thoughtful post! And that salad looked really good. :)

Brittany at Mommy Words said...

I loved Little League! I am so glad you are getting to have bot kids play. The memories will be priceless. I am glad they are totally fine with the situation but I so get where you are coming from. I would have wanted to know that you could pick a team and hey - mommies deserve camraderie too. It is nice to be in the stands with moms you know. The laundry will suck but you will get some great pics!