Sometime in the past year, I’ve become one of “those parents” at my kid’s sporting events. No, I’m not shouting obscenities at the umpires. No, I’m not yelling at other kids when they mess up. I swear, I’m not really being a jerk, I’m just … I am that parent who is way to *in* to a seven-year-olds’ baseball game.
I feel like this transition has occurred because of the perfect storm of situations:
1. My oldest has decided he’s a baseball player. We’re on season 4 of baseball and baseball happens to be my most favorite sport, so even when my kid isn’t playing, I’m crazy into watching the action.
2. We’ve found a team with some really great coaches. They push the kids to want to do better and play well, but they’re also the type of guys who will help put a bandaid on after a particularly bad slide into first base, or pull a kiddo aside when they’re upset after missing a play. My kid has flourished under this type of “tough love with a gentle touch” leadership.
3. The team itself is doing really well – and I am competitive AF.
I watch all the practices. I attend all the games. A lot of these kids have been on this team for a couple of seasons now, and I’ve watched them grow into better players just like my dude. I see them working their little butts off and I want them to succeed – and so when Saturday morning arrives, and I unfold my popup chair next to the dugout, I get nervous you guys. I get anxious to the point where I’m gripping the sides of my chair, and sitting forward while I hold my breath in anticipation of that next swing. I yell encouragement to not only my own kid, but all kids on the team and sometimes the Husband might elbow me in the ribs and remind me to STFU and let the coaches do their jobs.
There are a couple of us team moms who joke on the sidelines about our complete, and irrational obsession with our kids doing well at 7 YO coach pitch baseball. I suggested last game that in addition to bringing snacks and drinks for the kids, we also start a signup sheet for bringing alcoholic beverages for the parents. Maybe mixed drinks would help calm our nerves. Or maybe just Xanex – I hear that shit works well too. Just a thought.
I’m pretty sure most of them knew I was joking. Maybe. Hopefully.
I get a lot of crap for this type of behavior from all my family members. The Husband especially keeps asking me, “if you’re this uptight over coach pitch, what the hell are you going to be like in high school? Or Heaven forbid, college?” I keep telling him that from the first time we played Monopoly together while dating in college, he knew how competitive I get and that this type of behavior should not be a surprise to him and omg shut up because I’m trying to concentrate on our kid playing second base right now.
I promise myself that I will keep my mouth shut when a play goes badly … and I do. Even though my heart is pounding internally, there are always hugs and congratulations for all the boys, regardless on the outcome of the game. They’re six and seven year olds, and baseball is fun for them … I promise to not be even a tiny part of something that would ruin that for them. But just so we’re clear, I’m still clutching the side of my chair and holding my breath. Because I am insane and probably need a stiff drink.