31 March 2011

The Rites of Spring

Five went to his first baseball practice.  Last night, the Captain got all his gear ready. Earlier in the week, he had gone shopping with Three and Five for the necessary items. Three got a new glove, bat, and cleats. Five got a bat, glove, batting helmet, and the most adorable underwear/cup combination I've ever seen. And mind you, I've seen a lot of jocks in this house.

The older boys never wore the combo, because they said it couldn't be properly adjusted. And we all know how they like to adjust their junk. Consequently, Two would wear three layers of protection before he even got into his football pants. First there was a silky layer, to wear under the UnderArmor girdle that held the hip, thigh, and tail pads. Then he would put his jock strap, containing the titanium cup, over the girdle, and adjust as needed. Let me tell you, each and every one of those layers got sweaty. Especially the titanium cup. The first time I pulled it out of the strap, I thought it had gotten wet in the shower. Nope. Eww.

The Captain had prepared Five for the discomfort associated with the wearin' o' the cup. Five decided he would give it a test run. He got into the gear, and had various family members punch him in the penis. He gave a thumbs up for the protective quality of the plastic, and then ran around to see how much it bothered him. After a few minutes, he decided he could live with it.

Five was very excited about practice. He had his bag packed and ready to go, and had even tucked a mini bottle of Gatorade inside. He asked Four to come watch him, so momentous was the occasion. Off we went to the school field. We weren't the first ones there (that never happens when I'm in charge), but Five was unintimidated. He ran down and introduced himself -first and last name-and lined up next to his friend to practice throwing. Four played on the gym set, and then I actually got him to work on his homework. I watched Five from afar, and responded to the Captain's inquiring text messages.

"I haven't even thrown a ball with him since last summer. How does he look?"
"Like he hasn't thrown a ball since last summer. And, like he's seven."
"No. Does he look like he hates it?"
"Nope. He's having fun."
"He's a conundrum, wrapped in a riddle."

Which is true; we can't figure him out. He won't go down the hall to the bathroom without turning on every available light source. He won't play in his room alone. And he absolutely will not go downstairs without company. But he'll run down and introduce himself to a coach he's never met, and throw a ball for thirty minutes, despite his initial bad form. Wonders never cease.

As the light was fading, the team practiced base-running. After each boy crossed home plate, they stopped and adjusted their cup. Some rituals begin early in life.


  1. I love it but it just seems like he's so little yet to be playing baseball. Oh my, time does march on. Way to go Five. Introducing yourself. So grown up. We are so proud. Hugs, Mom Mom

  2. Anonymous31.3.11

    This may not be the place to say it, and I so do NOT want to offend any of my beloved blogging friends, but yours is the only one that my husband reads on a regular basis. With this post, he may actually start reading yours before he reads mine.

    Our joke used to be that J.D. played football for his mom and baseball for his dad. You have no idea how excited my spouse is for this time of year. Thank you for allowing him to joyfully participate (albeit from afar) in another season via your boys. You have become a Super Hero to us both.

  3. Anonymous31.3.11

    I'm pretty sure i've said this before, but you are such a good story-teller. Well done Five on diving right in!

  4. Those seem like three different types of anxiety. The fear of the dark spaces is one; social anxiety (meeting new peeps) is another; and looking foolish in front of people (being bad at something publicly) yet another. Sounds like he's got #1, but not #2 or #3. As Meatloaf once sang, two outta three ain't bad. Not at all. :-D

  5. @Julie--you mean Dan is not fascinated by reading about which foodstuffs I vomited each day??? lol

    Megan, this is my only fear about having a boy---neither dh nor I were athletic but my mom was, majorly. So it could inherit sports genes and I could have to sit outside in the heat and bugs and try not to get wildly, loudly competitive over a kid's ball game. I don't think I'm mature enough.

  6. I love Five. I'm still replaying the conversations from last summer in my head. Reruns are good :)

  7. Yay! It's time for baseball! One of my favorite times of year.

    I'm very proud of Five for heading fearlessly into that practice. I am still timid about introducing myself to new people. And I hate looking foolish in public. So I admire his gumption. It's a wonderful trait.

  8. Isn't it weird how they all want you to punch them in the crotch when they get a cup for the first time? I wonder why that is.

    Good for Five, too, not letting the monsters that lurk in the dark prevent him from playing baseball. ;)

    @Julie, Oh sure...I understand *sniff*. I'll just go eat some worms or something.

  9. I love Opening Day, and I really love the fact that Five had fun at practice.

    I suspect that in a house with two parents, two grandparents and four brothers, it's an odd time indeed to walk into a room that isn't already lit and full of people. ;)

  10. I like hockey and I have recently learned that Australian football is very cool. But baseball is the only sport that I really love. Let's break out the peanuts and crackerjacks. Yay Five!

  11. Argh. The blog ate all my comments! I just ate three cookies in response. Okay, again, in order:
    @Julie: The Captain loves baseball, as well. He was so disappointed he couldn't coach Five this year. All the spots were taken. I'm sure Dan's interest in the blog has to do with genitalia. That doesn't sound right. You know, he has a penis, they ALL have a penis...
    Anyway, my father was a State Trooper, and a writer. It's nice to have your cop join our family!

    @Mabel: I hadn't thought of his anxiety that way. It makes me hopeful. Of course, he still fears giants, zombies, and dying. So, thanks older brothers and your video games!

    @chrysanthe: I can't remember yesterday, so I'm glad you can recall them!

    @Janet and June: I sent the little guys to school in their Yankee jerseys. It's Opening Day! Maybe not, depending on the weather. Boo.

    @Delia: I caught five miunutes of a "Jackass" episode once, where everyone took turns pegging their friend in the crotch with tennis balls. Apparently, this is what the "cup test" devolves into, if left unchecked.

    @Carrie: I've tried to impress upon him that in our house ONE IS NEVER ALONE, but it didn't matter. I used to have to walk him to the "dark bathroom," so I guess he's adapting.
    Who's your team?

    @June: Is Australian football rugby?

    Kris? Care to explain?

  12. Anonymous31.3.11

    We do play rugby here but June is probably talking about Aussie rules football which is our most popular winter sport. It's a physical contact sport with some similar styles of play to rugby and Gaelic football.
    Here's a clip from youtube (hope it works) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=invqX1wflqI

  13. I'm a diehard St. Louis Cardinals fan. In fact, major league baseball was the first sport I ever loved. (Eventually followed by college basketball, college football, and the NFL. What I know about hockey you couldn't drown in.)

    I had a former roommate who was the fourth of seven (hmm, maybe nine), and when she was in college she spent her first night alone . . . ever. She was unamused. Personally, I would've found the silence delightful. ;)

  14. I have no hard evidence on this (pun intended - if you knew our (me+Carrie) dad you would understand it's a compulsion that can not be denied despite our best efforts), but I'm sure all major league baseball players began their careers with penis-punching. :)

    Yay for baseball and hooray for Five!

  15. Coming from a totally female family I don't have any experience with the whole cup thing, but I sure did enjoy reading about it this a.m.!!!! What a wake me up story. Thanks Meg.

  16. @bobbi: The Lone Woman strives to be both informative, and entertaining. Soon, you will know more than you ever wanted to about penises.


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