Dis”organized” Youth Sports Or How to Kill Money Quickly

As I watched the batter hit the ball them dive into the dogpile to retrieve it himself before running to second base (not first) I became fully aware of the absurdity of my decision.

What decision you ask? To sign my 3 year old up for tball.

All the cool moms were doing it, his friends at preschool were starting to join teams, and I was feeling guilty over his shrinking social calendar thanks to me staying home so riding on a wave of fear, adrenaline and a pinterest high that convinced me I could be that mom I clicked register.

With that money I could have bought the tball junk and a shirt & hat at walmart then set it up in the middle of Times Square while giving him a lecture on the Alamo, he would most certainly have learned as much about baseball as he did tonight, plus i’d have $30 left over.

Let me set the scene for you:

You know those community baseball complexes where all the fields have baselines, dugouts, benches, and such…we were at one of those except we were in the little grassy area between two fields because of a booking error. So the bases were impossible for an adult to spot let alone preschoolers, there was a wall of parents assigned to intercept potential foul balls from a high school game going on next to us and 2 “coaches” for 24 three and four year olds who spent most of the time trying to figure out how to keep the kids in a line.

Speaking of which, 80% of the practice & game combo consisted of standing in line waiting for your turn to do something.

10% was trying to figure out where you were supposed to be since kids got lost or confused every 3 minutes.

5% was listening to the coaches talk.

5% was actually doing stuff.

After the game was over my son got to do what he wanted so much to do, run the bases, he channeled Pigpen and ran the now empty field next to us a dozen times, a little cloud of dust smiling ear to ear.

Will we give it one more try? Sure. Is next week possibly our last? My sources say yes. I don’t believe in letting kids quit once they are old enough to decide to start something but I think I as the parent jumped the gun here and i’m not afraid to admit it.

 

So if I try to click that youth sports registration button again before Kindergarten will someone stage an intervention!? Thank You.

 

 

P.S. I cried when I accidentally deleted the pictures from his game tonight while trying to move them to our external hard drive. I’m telling you this sports stuff is as much for parents as anyone.

 

 

 

 

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And a Child Shall Lead Them

My son, whose introverted nature I wrote about here, loves to learn about the Bible and loves to pray and sing about God. He sings “My God is So Big” while running through the front yard hitting things with sticks, asks me to read him “one more” Bible story at least 3 times each night and loves chapel at his daycare. He really loves to pray though, he seems to understand how important it is. On nights when Dad is at work and he and I pray he does not want to recite his “nite nite” prayer he wants to make his own because he wants to thank God for his daddy. When he is done he proceeds to thank the Lord for each member of his family by name, for Jesus, for God (yes he thanks God for God but…shouldn’t we all?) as well as every single friend, teacher and pet and he often follows this with the many small wonders adults forget are actually tiny miracles like trees and water as well as all the amazing comforts of life in America in the year 2014 such as: my shows, elmo, bathtubs, my toys, our big, big car (which is a camry not a tank as the description might lead you to believe). These lists of gratitude go on in the dark still of his room for minutes until his voice gets slower and heavy with sleep. He never asks God for anything though…in fact my son doesn’t do alot of asking, he is frequently very happy with what he gets. He is a joy to give gifts too because even if there is a pile of presents he will not move one by one like a machine, no he opens one and enjoys it for minutes or hours if allowed before moving to another, a skill a desperately wish to master regarding the gifts I’m given daily.

For the last few months he has had to remind me constantly to pray before we eat. Frequently, as I whirl around in our kitchen throwing something to eat on the table before the exhaustion of the day can catch me, I will plop in my chair, grabbing a bite as I do, only to hear his tiny voice, “Mama, we forgot to pray!” I say your right buddy and take a breath so we can indeed thank the Lord for food to eat, in our warm home with abundance surrounding us. It’s rather backwards for him to have to remind me of this, i’m a devoted follower of Christ, unshakable in my faith and knowledgeable in theology but i’m also a sinful adult, all to often consumed by the busyness of all the “important” day to day matters I must take care of. Jidge is not yet a follower of Christ at the tender age of 3, he cannot explain all the details of Bible stories correctly (in fact he sometimes gets them comically wrong) but he has one thing I don’t, the ability to just love. He loves God purely, without all the entanglements that adults get caught up in and this causes him to remember, every single time we sit to eat, that he is thankful for the meal we are eating only by God’s grace.

I can honestly say he has been teaching me spiritual truths since the day he was born and I felt, for the first time, what it meant to love someone so selflessly and completely you would be willing to die for them. But these days its different, he is not just teaching me truth by existing but by his own heart and intentions and actions. As we sat down for Easter dinner at my in laws this last weekend, my child who can barely speak to his extended family because of his own shyness and nerves gleefully prayed clear and pure over our meal in front of all the adults and children present without a second thought. His own comfort at speaking was forgotten entirely as he chose to honor God and for that moment he was not a shy three year old, he was a confident young man strengthened by the power of Christ.

I’m not forgetting to pray these days. In the hustle and bustle of adding a new little one and moving and maternity leave and returning to work I had been forgetting far to often to stop and thank my heavenly father for the gifts, big and little, in my life. My son has reminded me in earnest of the importance of prayer and I am not ashamed to follow his lead, because sometimes a child shall lead them.

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