Evidently, ours was not the only game called on account of rain tonight. Like Danielle and many of the moms who commented on Margaret's post, I, too, love baseball season. I loved going to the games when my dad and my "uncle" (close family friend) coached my "cousin." I loved going to see the (always losing) Cleveland Indians play at home, the dozen or so times I was able to go growing up. I loved going to see the minor league team, the Richmond Braves, play when we lived there. I love having a game on during the weekends and watching a few innings of whoever play whomever.
And if I didn't have laundry to fold, dinner to stir up, diapers to change, and a myriad of other tasks that seem so important, I would love to spend an hour playing catch or a family pick-up game. It was I, after all, who spent an afternoon with Fritz when he was only about 3 and had him throw the ball left-handed, then throw the ball right-handed, then bat left-handed, then bat right-handed, over and over again, until I rightfully concluded that he did indeed favor a righty throw and a lefty bat-stance. And what's really odd about that is that there is another kid on his team this year who is the same way.
I am very thankful that this year the boys can be on the same team. Two games and one practice a week times one team is quite enough. Last year I ran the boys to separate games and practices (although Billy did soccer instead). Next year, Billy will probably stick with baseball (he can play soccer in the fall), and we'll be back to running to two different games and practices. Katie has mentioned T-ball...if I can just hold her off one more season, then Billy will go back and forth between Fritz's and Katie's teams and I'll only have to juggle two teams, not three.
Despite how much I love baseball, the 6 to 8 weeks of the season are pretty hectic. I plan simple dinners on game nights: pizza, tacos, pasta. I do as much prep and cleaning in the afternoon as possible. I serve out of Tupperware containers to make clean up easier. I try to assemble shoes and water bottles and snacks well in advance of departure time. I try to keep the baseball gear and the diaper bag in the car at all times. And frequently, when the day is over, my children go to bed a bit dirty.
When today's forecast called for thunderstorms, I skeptically looked at the sunny sky and put the ingredients for pizza dough in the bread machine. But by the time I was confirming who wanted what toppings, I wondered if putting the pies in the oven this early was necessary. And by the time we sat down to eat, I was certain we would be losing our power due to the wind and rain (we didn't).
With dinner eaten by 530 and nowhere to go and nothing to do, I seized the opportunity for everyone to have a proper scrub down including hair washings. I realize that that statement sounds absurd to anyone who has only one or two children, but I'm certain there are more than a few baseball moms who have placed their half-naked toddlers on the sink counter and washed them up "good enough." I hear my own mother's words coming from my mouth as I call "Feet, face, and hands!" to those old enough to wash themselves up. There are weeks I feel I'm Aunt Polly, and I'm herding a bunch of Tom Sawyers into the washroom on Saturday nights to make 'em decent before church the following morning.
As an incentive for a quick house-tidy, I promised everyone we could cut into Fritz's ice-cream birthday cake a day early (more on that tomorrow). And with everyone clean, in their pajamas, and satiated with ice cream, we dove into a competitive game of Blokus (a game I highly recommend for whole families to enjoy together from ages 5 and up). Then the kids played Sorry! while I brushed and braided the girls' clean hair.
It was a peaceful, relaxing and unexpected end to what would normally have been just another crazy day. And even though at least two of them are still awake an hour after goodnight kisses, I've been able to type up this post undisturbed and will myself now go up to rest my weary head.