Thursday, April 03, 2008

T-Ball Induced Panic Disorder

A. started t-ball last night. That's actually a misnomer - the kids can use the t-thing if they're wimps, or they can have it pitched to them if they're studly. A. was invited to try hitting the coach's slow pitch and he replied, "That's OK. I already know how to hit. I'm just going to watch." He was cajoled into joining in a few times, and actually got to stand out in the outfield, although he didn't know why he was out there.

I didn't get to see the practice because I worked, but I will get to see the first game on Saturday, and I'm scared. G says that I'll be surprised at how good some of these 5-year-olds are. I sort of figured they'd be like A., not knowing which base to go to after he hits the ball.

I'm scared because I so, so badly want him not to suck. I remember the horror of being called to put on the catcher's gear once at a softball game and realizing I had no idea what the score was or where to throw the ball. I remember standing out in right field thinking, "Please, please, please don't hit it out here." I really, really wanted my own catchers mitt when I was a kid, thinking that if I had one, I'd somehow become athletic. This was the 70's, when Girl Power yada yada was all the rage and I was filled with shame for not being a tomboy.

If it was tough for me, it's even harder to be a boy and not be good at sports. His kindergarten teacher told us that sometimes he tells her he can't do some of the P.E. because he's too small. He sees babies doing stuff on the playground equipment that he won't even try. He makes up stories about how he beat everyone else in running races that I know are fantasies .

I don't want him to be a star, I mean, that'd be fine, but it's unlikely. Average is good. Average is GREAT. I want him to have fun. I want him to be confident enough to join the baseball game at his office picnic when he's 27.

But we can't push it. Suggestions of playing catch outside are rebuffed. He doesn't want to know the rules of the game. But last night he said, "I think I can do it," when I asked him if he wanted to continue. (Knowing our son as we do, we asked if we could not pay for the season until after he'd tried it at least once).

So we're off to buy $100 worth of uniform for the boy who doesn't know how many bases there are. Is it any wonder I just reloaded my purse with Zantac?


Sarah O. said...

Ah, the wonder that is Zantac. I tried and spent tons of money for all sorts of sports on my boy to no avail. I hung my head in shame when all my friends went on and on about how great their kids were at sports.

Now he says he's proud to be a nerd. Good news! Who makes more money, the average jock or the nerd?

Beastarzmom said...

But my dear, the lad can write SONGS!!!
It's true - it's kinda fun to have a kid who can actually do some athletic stuff well (took a damn long time for us to find that out), but as Sarah says - who comes out smelling like a rose in the end? Yep - it's the smart kid.
Well, mostly. Can't say my smart kid is doing all that well, either. go out and get that gear - maybe it's good to hedge your bets!

Carrie said...

I was the kid who didn't do anything beyond t-ball (and I was bad at that) until we moved to my tiny hometown when I was in 8th grade. Suddenly, I blossomed into an athlete. A not-very-athletic athlete but I had a spot on the bench in basketball games and looked fabulous in a tennis skirt. It was one plus to growing up in such a small town.

I don't think my husband made it past Little Kickers (or whatever cute name was given to children's soccer back in the day). He was in chess club(!) when he was in high school. He turned out to be an OK kind of guy. Still no desire to do much of anything sports-wise unless you count watching it. :)

Good luck to A. (and to you guys!).

Christina said...

I am putting my kindergarten in T-Ball this summer. His first real attempt at a sport, and let me tell ya I am not sure he even will know how to swing a bat. *G*

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