You basketball fans think you have a lock on Madness in March? Try being a Little League parent. With two kids and two teams with practice or games on two different fields, life got pretty crazy. Throw in typical Spring weather, and the question of game or no game tonight? For eleven seasons, we spent from late February to mid-June schlepping our boys to baseball. Some weeks we had a practice or game every single day.
Until it stopped.
The kids grew up. Went on to high school and other sports.
No more mad dash to get the uniform clean. “Where’s my other sock? My hat? My cup?” No more scrambling to get from one game to the other on the other side of the county.
No more snack bar sign ups. Or dinner at the ballpark.
No more sunflower seeds in the laundry.
No more heart in throat when my son pitched. Or soaring above the ballpark when he got that hit. Scored that run. Won the game.
No more warm summer nights at Rotary Park, under the lights. No more freezing cold nights at that same park hoping the weather holds off one more inning.
No more picture day. No more double headers. Or post-game snacks.
I walked into Big 5, the sporting goods store where I bought numerous cleats, gloves, socks and belts. The baseball equipment was displayed up front and my heart did a funny little lurch as I walked right past it to look at shoes for myself.
Yeah. I miss it. Even the craziness of living in the car with the bat bags rolling around in the back. The cups under the seats, and no, not the ones that hold soda or sunflower seed shells. Those cups. The ones they would take out the minute they got into the car.
We spent some of the best springs and early summers as a family at the ballpark. Hopefully my boys will carry on the tradition when they have kids of their own. And you can bet their grandma will be at as many games as she can.