Before you throw me beneath that mountain of snow you’ve repeatedly been shoveling from your walk to your yard, hear me out. With spring comes baseball season, and while I love me some baseball, and look forward to following our beloved Pittsburgh Pirates with the crazy obsessed baseball fans I call my family, this time of the year also turns me into A Single Parent.
You see, my husband is a high school baseball coach, and if you know anything about high school sports these days, you know the parents are whack jobs.
I mean, you know the demanding schedule is rigorous for everyone involved: for the players who have to find a delicate balance between athletics and academics; for the coaches whose time is divided between work, coaching, and family; and for the rest of us missing our players and coaches as they spend grueling hours in the gym and on the field, on the bus to and from away games, and in the locker room celebrating big wins and agonizing over big losses.
High school sports suck up so much time and energy, and it’s not just a season any more. Spring sports start at the beginning of the school year with warm weather work-outs, continue through winter with indoor work-outs, then are in full-swing just as the ground begins to thaw. Most of these spring athletes carry over the game into the summer, and some of the coaches follow them. My husband used to coach in the summers and travel with his teams, and I used to post up on the sidelines with my sunglasses and take advantage of the mini-vacations decked out in my team colors.
Fortunately, the husband gave up coaching off-season, though I know a part of him really misses it, but the beginning of March means he’s gone from 6am to 6pm (later on game days), and three kids and I are staring at each other waiting for the sound of the garage door that signals his return. If you’ve been reading me for a while, it’s no surprise that I kinda like my husband. He keeps us laughing, he’s a hands-on dad, and he LIKES to cook; whereas I LIKE to serve frozen waffles for dinner. And when he’s gone, I miss him.
Single parents, my hat is off to you. Parents whose spouses are overseas, I bow down to you. Anyone who doesn’t have a break in their day between kids and work, and your brain actually hurts as you count down the seconds to bedtime, you are my hero. My #firstworldproblems pale in comparison to those who truly rock the parenting game solo; I am not worthy! But that won’t stop me from complaining about it.
Damn you, baseball season.
You steal my husband (shut up that he likes it), you mess up our plans with your rescheduled games (bite me, rain), and when I go to the games, I can’t even pass off a kid to her Daddy despite her wailing that she NEEDS HIM RIGHT NOW (stoopid rules). But that’s okay. Deep breaths and prayers for 10-run rules (we win, of course) will help get me through. Once the weather breaks (soon, please, Mother Nature), kids can run and slide and jump in puddles and be exhausted before dinner. My neighbors, the ones I like, will again emerge from their homes and we’ll chat while the kids play. We’ll make plans to go the winery for a girls’ night out, and share our kids’ accomplishments that the winter kept cooped up and out of sight. Our “I can’t believe she’s almost a senior!” and the “Wasn’t he just born yesterday?!” will be punctuated with laughter and adult language because curse words don’t bounce off of fresh air the way they do off of kitchen walls. We will make jokes about needing to shave because “this warm weather really crept up on us!” and maybe we’ll even have a beer as we stand on the street while our littles ride bikes! OH, THE POSSIBILITY!
Okay, baseball season, bring it. I’m ready for you.