Ts and Balls

I looked at the flyer sitting on the kitchen table.  Z had pulled it out of his folder and placed it on top of the pile of mail, so that I wouldn’t be able to miss it, or at least say that I’d missed it.

Little League.  T ball.  Inwardly, I panicked.

After school activities were foreign territory for me.  My own mother had always worked, and we’d never been enrolled in any sort of extra curricular activities until middle school, when I’d insisted on taking on the flute.  My mother hadn’t argued because by then I could walk to and from the afterschool practices that it sometimes entailed.  I’d never taken dance as a little girl in a pink tutu, or piano lessons, soccer, or catechism.  I heard other kids talk about these things and I’d listen like a foreigner on a trip to a far away place.

This was the kind of moment that I’d vowed to do differently as a parent.  I’d set my career up on purpose to allow for things like this.  I’d be available to take Z to practices after school; in a pinch I could be back home by 4pm if necessary.  But still, not having any personal experience with this kind of thing made my fear of the unknown set off like a warning siren in advance of a storm.

And what if Zach wasn’t athletic at all?  He wasn’t exactly the most coordinated of kids; we were still having trouble mastering riding a 2 wheeled bike.  His glasses slid down his nose sometimes and he would forget to push them back in place, marring his vision.  What if kids made fun of him because he wasn’t any good at it?  What if the other kids made fun of him for not having a father around to coach the games and practice throwing a ball with him?

I certainly couldn’t ask my brother for any fill ins here, and my brother in law was always working and would never be able to do that sort of thing with Z.   Ugh, I thought.  This was the kind of thing that still pissed me off about being a single mother; just when you think you’ve learned to live your life and have everything down, yet another thing comes and reminds you that someone left you to do this All Alone.  It wasn’t fair that Z didn’t have a father to do things like this with him.  I supposed I could do it, though my hand eye coordination wasn’t exactly stellar either.

I sat down at the table and picked up the flyer.  I could ask R, I thought.  Should I?  I’d never seen R engage in any athletic activity, though, and he never watched baseball at all on TV.  Were we there in our relationship yet?  Could I ask him to play the father role in a sports situation?  Did I even want to do that?   Would he?  I wasn’t sure.

My son wanted to play T Ball, for heaven’s sake.  This shouldn’t be that hard.   These are little kids.  This isn’t life and death.  I grabbed a pen and filled out the form, quickly folding it in three and putting it into a business sized envelope.  Enough.  I’d figure out the details later.  My son should be able to play some freaking ball without me having a full on panic attack.



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