Friday, May 10, 2013

The Baseball Boost

I've been doing this mommy-stuff for a really long time. I've been doing it since before there were DVRs, kindles, iPads and iPhones... heck, before iPods. Before there was Facebook (heck, before MySpace), I was a mommy. I was a young mommy - doing it grassroots style - with no other mommy friends to watch or ask questions. I had a book or two that I decided to faithfully ignore and my own gut instinct, which I faithfully followed. 

I've always been incredibly proud of how well I've done as a mom. When you have a baby young, and clearly not exactly on purpose, no one expects you to be such a parenting badass. But I have been. I am a really good mom. Nailed it.

So far.

Here's the catch. Mommyhood is fluid. It is an ever-changing, ever-moving, ever-flowing path. The second you feel like you've done something right (or wrong, and then worked to make it right again), the little buggers have holes in their new jeans and outgrown shoes and you're staring down the path at a whole new adventure. So, here I am... a mommy veteran... coursing the ship into new, unchartered waters... again.

My baby, my baaaaaaaaaby, is growing up. He's nine. NINE!!!!! Parenting is now so much more than cuddles and teaching the alphabet and watching your language and convincing them to eat a vegetable...

I am building confidence. Instilling values. Educating right from wrong. Promoting the importance of a solid, well-rounded education. Teaching empathy, spirituality, and gulp... all the changes in the growing human body. But more than anything else, I am trying so, so, so hard to do whatever I can now to make sure he doesn't turn into the kind of teenager who doesn't care at all about any of this and turns into a conforming, peer-pressure-caving idiot in 4 years. There is just so much at stake.

Parenting a nine year old is causing me to question every move I make... Is it the right one?? Is what I'm doing now helping or hurting?? Is he going to remember this moment when someone offers him a cigarette??

Two weeks ago, the moment was there.

Chuck was assigned the pitching position in his baseball game. He's never been assigned to pitch before. This is his third season with kid-pitch innings and even though I'm pretty sure that the rules state that every kid is supposed to play every position at least once, he's never been up to the mound. Competitive Daddy coaches... ?

Charlie is little. He's perfect in every way. But he's little. He hasn't developed his little chicken wing  for pitching yet. Lord, we've JUST finally gotten him to get consistent hits at bat. So... I was worried. I was mama-worried that he'd get up to the mound and he would suck. 

And he did. He did suck.

Fuck. Bad words.

I was stuck there behind the fence just watching. I couldn't step in. I couldn't rush out and pep talk him. I couldn't hold his arm and go through the movement of the pitch with him. I couldn't tell him that it would be ok. I couldn't tell the coach to pull him and put another kid up there. I just had to sit there... and watch while all the confidence he's gained in the game slowly melted away as the other team walked 6 guys...

But, then, finally, it was over. As he walked off the mound and towards his dugout, I saw the tears coming through on his face. I hopped the fence and I grabbed him tight.

Surprisingly, without any real thought about what I was going to say at all, all the right things you say to a kid who just sucked at pitching in front of a bunch of people came out. And as I was saying it, as I was holding him tight, wiping tears and using my strong mama-voice to remind him that he did his very best on his very first time and that everyone sucks at their first time of anything - Verlander's first pitch sucked - and that practice would make him better and that I love him and getting up there and working hard was whats most important, I could feel that I might just have a fighting chance at doing this right.

At least for that moment, I had nailed it.



  1. I love your posts. My little one is only 9 months old and I question everyday if what I am doing is right or wrong. I hope to have lots of "nailed it" moments on my mommy journey. I wouldn't be surprised if Charlie is a Pro baseball player when he grows up!
    P.S. a friend told me that if I crossed the cuss words out then they don't count. Whew that was a relief to I can say ANYTHING I want on my blog ;)

  2. You are such a great Mom Boulet. I am so proud of the mommy and person you have become! (and always were). XOXO - my favorite post of yours yet!