Life seems to be back in full swing. The laundry is starting to pile up, the lawn mower needs to be fixed and the gutters need to be cleaned. Fortunately (or not) baseball is still swallowing a large amount of my 'free time'. Both boys are playing, so we seem to have games 4-5 nights a week. I missed almost all of baseball season last year, as it wrapped up just after I started to see B. She asked me what I thought about the boys playing and I said that it was fine with me, as long as they wanted to, I don't believe in forcing participation in activities. I did not realize how much time would be involved.
When I was about 5 we started playing T-Ball. Our mothers would take us to our games which took place on weekday mornings in the summer. I suppose we played for an hour or two and then went home. We did not have uniforms that I remember. When I was about 7 we started playing baseball. American Legion ran the program where I grew up, although I think that now there are other leagues there too. One night, late enough in the spring for Fred Young fieldhouse to be stifling hot, we would go to Illinois Wesleyan for registration. My Dad and I would stand there while a very long single line ran through 2 or three stations. Finally we would get to the front where I would receive a t-shirt and hat as well as the fundraiser materials. Everyone in an age group wore the same colors, green for the youngest, then red and finally blue. When I was maybe 10 or 11 people started wearing baseball pants and some times leggings. We would generally walk to our games or maybe carpool. I really don't recall parents attending very often, maybe once in a while a bunch of mothers would attend but I think that it was more an opportunity for them to socialize than anything else. Our umpires were high school or college students and they helped set the lineups. No coaches, just kids playing ball. I think it might be better that way.
I know that we are often nostalgic but the other night, between the 2 games we were involved in, I bet I saw 5 kids in tears. Whether or not the parents pressure the children, I think that the presence of the parents provides pressure. We all knew who the best players on our team were, we went to school with them and they were the best on the playground but our parents never had to watch us as we were outclassed. I expected that Scott would strike me out, and that Steve, Dan, Greg and Joel would be better than I was, but I didn't have to worry about looking bad in front of my mom and dad. It was just fun and gave us something to do while school was out.
Maybe I'm wrong, maybe its better now but there were certainly less tears when I played ( I did cry once though, at a game my parents were watching)