Writing extensively about my kids’ sporting events is something I rarely do. Mainly because frankly, other than grandparents, no one gives a rat’s ass. I’ve had entire lunch hours monopolized by someone giving a detailed play-by-play of an entire basketball game, and why this coach should have done this, and why her kid shouldn’t have sat on the bench during the last two minutes even though he had four fouls, and how these parents should have acknowledged that their kid was being treated as a favorite.
Amputating a limb using whiskey for an anesthetic might be less painful.
Organized sports are great, though expensive and time-consuming. At times I think parents go a little overboard, but I’ve been fortunate that all the teams David and Cameron have been associated with have had gentlemen for coaches, and the parents have been great fun.
Barry gets very tense watching David play. David and Barry both have intense personalities. It’s different with Cameron, he’s got Cameronland to go back to when the game is over, so he grins from ear to ear when he does well, but never dwells on a bad game. David though, lives and dies with every at bat, every play, every shot.
Watching games is fun for me, I don’t get stressed out. If David has a tough night at the plate, I feel bad for him, but once it’s over, it’s over. It’s just a game. He has the right to feel upset or disappointed, but I know I can’t fix it, he is the only person who can deal with those feelings, and it’s an important life lesson, shrunken down into six innings or four quarters. Me getting upset about it too doesn’t do anything for anyone.
That said, when your son’s team is up 7-6, top of the last inning of their first play-off game, and the coach brings him in to relieve the team’s (arguably the league’s) best pitcher, who is about to exceed his pitch count, and there are two outs, a guy on third, and a 1-2 count, the butterflies get a little stirred up. And you want to write about it.
David has a strong arm, and good control when he keeps the ball down. He’s very deliberate. Before every set up, he holds his glove in front of his mouth, and takes a deep breath. His shoulders visibly tense and relax. He does well in pressure situations. But wow, this was dangerous. PItching can look very lonely. It did tonight.
First pitch. Foul tip behind the catcher. Praise from the coach. Nice pitch.
Second pitch. Ball 2. High. Pleas from his parents. Follow through.
Third pitch. Fouled back and out of play. Encouragement from the team. You’ve got him.
Fourth pitch. Another foul ball. Chatter from the crowd. Come on, David!
Fifth pitch. Swing and a miss. Strike three. And there was much rejoicing.
And I finally breathed out.
© Jennifer Alys Windholz, 2011