Several years back, as we were chasing likely just two toddlers around the yard, one set of our neighbors told us to enjoy those days. Because, they said, it wouldn’t be too long before our lives became this, and the husband pointed from our driveway, to the street, back to the driveway, back to the street. “You’ll be coming and going non-stop to practices, games, school programs.” They have two boys who are two years apart, both out of college now. But at the time they were still in the midst of high school sports. They spoke from experience.
Well, we’ve reached that stage.
Beginning last Monday, we are in a stretch where of the next 24 days, 21 have at least one kid activity on the calendar. Kickball, softball, soccer, First Communion related events. Swim team call out meeting. Study group for M.’s social studies project.
Several days have two events at two different locations. Last Thursday, for example, L. had soccer practice about 10 minutes from home. At the same time, M. had a kickball game 40 minutes away on the opposite site of Indy. Fortunately there is a family that has girls of the same ages, on the same teams, so we were able to split the transportation duties. Sunday I watched the first 15 minutes of L.’s soccer game then left to take M. over to her study group.
On top of the hassles of driving through construction zones and rush-hour traffic, there is the constant threat of bad weather endemic to the Midwest. Last Wednesday M. had kickball practice from 3:30–4:30, then C. had softball from 5:30–7. As we were driving home from kickball, the skies were darkening and the radar looked red and nasty to our west. I said to C., “I bet it starts storming right about the time we get to the fields.”
Sure enough, as we pulled up to the parking lot, her coaches were walking off the field waving everyone away. Then we raced back home and beat the hail into the garage by about 30 seconds.
At least M.’s kickball season only runs until May 1. If we had to do this for two full months, I might need some medications. Not that May is much easier.
We’re off to a good start, at least. M.’s team won their first kickball game by one run, scoring the winning run in the bottom of the sixth. They were down 8–2 early, had a four-run lead going into the sixth, then after giving up the lead got back-to-back doubles to get the win.
This season’s team is a little different that the past two seasons. Last spring they mixed the third and fourth graders so the third graders could learn the rules a but quicker. And in the fall, enough girls came out that there were two fourth grade teams. This spring, though, it’s just one team of only fourth graders. Which gives them 17 girls when everyone shows up. So the girls take turns playing in the field, but everyone kicks.
Based on one game, it also seems like the girls are better at fielding and throwing/catching at first base. You can’t dribble the ball to the pitcher and expect to automatically be safe at first. We’re desperately trying to teach M. how to put some ooomph in her kicks so she has a chance.
L. picked up where she left off last fall in her first soccer game. She scored seven goals, had two assists, and kept the other team from scoring any goals. We had hoped to move her up to U–8 this spring, along with two of her teammates from last fall. But the league kept all three in U–6 for another season. Our coach told the league commissioner that the kids were more than ready for U–8 and he was worried other parents/coaches were going to complain when our kids scored all the time. The commissioner insisted that would not be a problem. I’m not so sure.
C.’s first softball game is tomorrow. Because of weather, they’ve only had two practices. And about half the team has never played before. Which means tomorrow night should be very interesting. Based on practice, it looks like if you can get the bat on the ball, you will not only be safe, but you can run as long as you want. Not a lot of slick fielding in first and second grade softball. But getting the bat on the ball is easier said than done. C. made solid contact a couple times Saturday, so hopefully that will carry over to a game.
My biggest frustration with her is one common to any parent teaching a kid how to play base/softball: she always wants to catch with her glove facing up. I’m pretty sure I got corrected endlessly for doing the same thing 37 years ago. She can get her glove down on the ground, though, and has a decent arm.
L. begged me for a glove, too, just so she can throw the ball around when we go to C.’s practices. I got her a tiny tee ball glove that came with a cushy ball. Last night we were throwing it around and she did a great job. She has a good arm, but also struggled to catch. When she would get the ball in her glove, she had a look of amazement on her face after, like “How did I do that?”
I told her that I loved to play catch, my step-dad and I used to play for hours, and I hoped that at least one of the girls would learn how to throw/catch well enough to toss the ball with me. “I’ll play catch with you guys every night if you want to.”
“I’ll do it!” she said.
Of course she will.