Saturday, May 06, 2006

Life Behind the Backstop

It's that time of year again, time for Little League stories. Yes, some of them are just child anecdotes under a different name. In no particular order:

Magic Words
I notice that many fathers--especially coaches but not limited to them--employ incantations during games, with the apparent belief that repeating the same phrase will affect their children's technique. "Throw strikes!" a man behind me kept exhorting his son, pitcher for the visiting team last week. "You're a hitter," one of the coaches keeps telling my son (so far, not so).

We're All Sensitive People, With So Much To Give (apologies to Marvin Gaye)
Not-so-little-R.'s coach approached me and not-so-big-R. last night. He spoke of the beach, which I now recognize as significant because it was a non-baseball topic. NSBR told him how excited NSLR was when he came home from batting practice Tuesday night, and thanked the coach for helping him set up his stance. "He was very fired up," I agreed. After a brief pause, Coach countered with a story about listening in on the boys' conversations on the ride home, and how smart NSLR is.

The Most Important Meal of the Day
After the game, one of the other mothers approached me. "Is that your husband?" she asked, pointing to NSBR still in suit and tie (he can rarely make the weeknight games because his commute is long).
"Well, I see him on the train every day, and I always think, 'That man's wife must really love him, because he has such a delicious looking breakfast.'" She turned to another mom: "Granola and yogurt, in a little tupperware thing, and it's not soggy, so clearly she doesn't make it the night before."

I must remember this whenever I feel purposeless and unrecognized. Strangers admired my food preparation and my wifely devotion, and I was unaware.

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