Oh, dear. What have I done?
It was the only thing I kept repeating in my head as I raced around our house, trying to make sure we had anything we’d need before we left – because we weren’t coming back to the house if something was forgotten.
Bug spray. Hat. Catcher’s glove. Towel to wipe off in case the field was muddy. Water.
Crap! Blue shirt!
I’d only been repeating THAT all dang day, since the coach’s text came in letting us know that the shirts may not be done yet, so make sure we had a blue shirt to stick on our kiddos so they’d know who their teammates were.
That’s right. I’ve been thrust into the life of a Sports Mom.
A year early might I add.
Rewinding it a bit… I discovered that my son will not be going off to Big Kid school with any of his fellow roommates at our daycare center. A little odd given the fact that our daycare is smack dab in the middle of our school district.
He’s been going to that same school since he was 12 weeks old, and I’ve learned over these years: He is very much like me with new things and places. He doesn’t mind change, he does adapt, but the head of that change? Overwhelming and slightly terrifying.
So how can I, as Mom, do something to help make this impending transition easier?
Thankfully, he is a sports kid, and enjoys sports. The plan had been to wait until school started for any extra curricular activities like T-Ball, Soccer, etc., but it looked like we were wading in early.
It didn’t take much after asking him if he wanted to play T-Ball, and showed him a YouTube video of what T-Ball was. He was in.
Until he got to his first practice.
His big, brown eyes grew 10 times larger when he realized he didn’t know any of the kids there. Another 10 times larger when he realized that momma wouldn’t be on the field with him, and this was a “Go It On your Own” kind of thing.
There he stood, about 3 steps back from the group of his new teammates, watching them interact with the coach. Observing.
Just like I do. Step back, take it all in.
The first practice was a little rough. Learning which way to run, overhand throws instead of underhand throws, and a few times, I did have to sneak into the infield to give him a little reassurance that he could do it, I’d be right there as close to the sideline as I could be.
He didn’t say he didn’t want to go back, so I considered it a slight win. It helped that a few of the older kids took him under their wing. Showed him how to stoop down low, keep his glove low, to catch those rolling infield balls.
But the game… lots and lots of new kids. Lots of noise.
My worry that we’d forget something.
This is all falling right in the middle of the busiest time of my own sports season with my job, so I’m trying to keep up with that, and now I’ve added this to the mix.
Part glutton for punishment, part wanting to help my kid succeed.
We arrived to the field with a few minutes to spare, and I doused him with bug spray, tucked his glove on, and sent him towards the dugout to see Coach.
He got to hit twice, and there was only a slight directional problem in going from third to home that last run in, but at-bats were a success. Infielding, he sort of segregated himself from the kids on his team, and stuck like glue to the coaches (he also tried to sneak out of the dugout twice during his team’s at-bats). So there’s some work there.
But all-in-all? I dare say this is a success. He has a specific group that he looks forward to seeing. While he may stick close to his coaches at certain points when you can see he is uncomfortable, or unsure, it’s not me he is running for and trying to pull out onto the field – which means that, although he may not be totally confident, he’s gaining some, and is practicing that independent streak he’s working on at home too.
And he’s excited for it.
He asked this morning how many “sleeps” there were until T-Ball again, and cheered “T-BALL! T-BALL!” after I told him one.
It makes all of the slightly crazed, scattered, borderline anxiety triggering moments between worth it.