26 April 2011

Even Derek Jeter Strikes Out

I just didn't have it in me to post last night. I spent most of the day on the couch in the living room, while Four lay on his couch in the playroom. He would occasionally call for more water or crackers, and I'd remain upright long enough to oblige. I hoisted myself up in the afternoon to retrieve children from various bus stops and activities, and to get Five ready for his First Baseball Game Ever.

As the time to get dressed and ready drew near, Five grew more agitated. There was a lot of complaining that I didn't have what he wanted to eat for dinner, and how the sandwich I'd made him for lunch didn't have enough salami. And, if I didn't believe that there was no spelling homework, I could check his homework folder myself! The Captain had come home early to help me, and he and Two were sitting at the kitchen table listening to Five's harangue.

Two lost his patience first."Oh my God, Five, stop yelling at Mom! You're like a whiny, little baby! What is your problem?"

In a rare moment of insight, Five answered, "I'm just nervous about my game. I don't know what I'm doing. And everybody else does. I don't even know how to get a guy out. Dad, you have to write everything down that I need to know." He handed him a small pad. The Captain told Five he wouldn't really be able to take out his notes while playing, so they would just review in the car. Then I took him to get in his uniform.

As I left the kitchen, I heard the Captain say, "It's gonna be a long season, Two."
"I feel your pain, Dad," he replied.

If I didn't care about protecting the anonymity of my children, I would post the pictures of Five in his uniform. There's almost nothing cuter than little boys in baseball gear. And Five was excited, too, because it was the first time he was in the complete outfit. He left with the Captain, chattering all the way.

I actually showered and made it to the field for the end of the game. When I arrived, Five was crying.
"I struck out! I embarrassed the team! We're going to lose because of me!"

The Captain provided details. Five had actually hit the first two times up at bat, but he struck out on his third attempt. I told Five he could talk to Three, who has played baseball all his life, and sometimes even strikes out looking! I reminded him that this was everyone's first game, and he would get better. He didn't really believe me, but he went back out in the field.

Mercifully, at this level, the teams play four innings or ninety minutes, whichever comes first. Five did not have to bat again. Our team technically won, but everyone bats, and no one keeps score. The coach congratulated everyone for a fantastic first game, and added, "Especially you, Five. Why don't you lead us in the closing cheer?" Five stood up, all the boys threw in their hands, and he counted, "One, two, three...Double Red!"

As we packed up to leave, the coach came over one more time to reassure Five.
"Listen, Five, you did great. Don't get upset if you don't always get a hit. Even Derek Jeter strikes out!"
I think the extra attention made him feel better. And a little bit of my faith in team sports was restored.

11 comments:

  1. Wow, I'm so proud of Five! His first game! I'm sure the Captain has explained to him - a few dozen times - that two hits in three at bats is a stellar performance. If he can sustain a .666 batting average (or even half that!), we'll be visiting his statue in Cooperstown in about 40 years!

    Hope you are feeling a little bit better and that you are back on your feet soon.

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  2. Excellent! Also glad that two stuck up for you with five.

    I feel your pain on wanting to post pics but not doing it...I took pics of my class outside on a play structure during the easter party and it was such a fun, joyous pic...but I won't do it. I put their pictures on the class web site but only if I have signed parental permission to exhibit their images online at school affiliated URLs. Le sigh. Makes me hate creepy people even more because it's not safe....

    I'm in a freakishly good mood today (it should swing back any minute). Hope you feel better! And that my kid doesn't complain about the food I prepare...oh wait it'll be the kid of two of the nation's pickiest eaters. I'm screwed.

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  3. @Janet: Well, he actually got thrown out at first one time, but we didn't dwell on that. Still, I think that makes it a .333, which would make any major leaguer happy-especially you, Brett Gardner! But Mr. Five is a glass-half-empty kind of guy.

    @Lora: Yay for freakishly happy! It's sunny and warm here, which is aiding in my recovery. Three is the guy who loses out in our family, because he'll eat anything. And we have very limited palates here-mine especially. It will require courage to raise a good eater.

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  4. I'm so sorry you're still being internally beaten up. But Yay! for Five for getting out there. Also, two out of three is a very good showing.

    Hope you're feeling better soon. May FGBVs rain down upon you in sparkly torrents.

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  5. There's such joy (and exhaustion) in limited experience. Every time has the possibility to be the BEST TIME EVER and, of course, the worst. Best of luck with the ups and downs of the season.

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  6. @ Megan - Yup! I'll take .333 any day! I know it's hard to be positive as a batter, when a 70% failure rate makes you a star. And Five is bound to worry. The Captain is right, it will indeed be a long season. But I can't help smiling over opening day!

    @Lora - You totally nailed the critical point. Two defending his Mama! And I'm so glad that you are having a good day! I'll keep sending good thoughts and hope that you can get a good streak going!

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  7. I love this post. I am so proud of Five. He connected with the ball twice and got a hit. I am also a worrier, so I feel HIS pain. Poor Sweetheart! I think the Captain is in for an extremely trying season.

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  8. I agree with the others that a very important point was Two standing up for you. You really do deserve respect, even from a little guy. I think I like Two.

    I think that educating Five in the statistics of baseball (which made it more interesting to me) will help him a lot with his insecurities. He is such an intellectual little kid, isn't he? Makes physical things harder to just accept, I think. (My brother was the smart jock; I was the smart clutz.)

    And I'm proud of Five for making it thru his first game. I think little kids in their uniforms are the cutest things! I'm trying to find all my little bro's pictures for a collage or something, just for me (I don't have him anymore).

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  9. OH I love those wee guys in their uniforms! Wanna know what I got out of this post? The Captain came home early to help you. We ARE married to the same guy!

    Feel better.
    Julie

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  10. I'm happy for Five and now have a gooey spot in my heart for Two. Your boys sound wonderful.

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  11. Fave line: "He handed him a small pad." Five never fails to entertain.

    I agree with Julie, the Cpt always sounds like A Damn Good Dad.

    Re pics: That's the nice thing when your kids are cats. I post pics and real names all the time!

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