My boys have always played summer baseball but, with the exception of one year, have never tried out for the traveling team. They probably should be trying out, but as Zach says: "I want to be able to do more with my summer than just play baseball. Driving to a tournament every weekend and playing three games a week sounds horrible. Plus, it's more fun to be on a team with my friends." Sometimes, he surprises me by managing to say things that are actually intelligent and not drenched with sarcasm.
Spending summer evenings at a little league field watching a bunch of boys play baseball can be pretty fun, so I hear. Since Zach and Charlie are two years apart in age, they are always on different teams, so game nights for us have usually included more than one game, often overlapping by an hour, and always on the opposite sides of town. As a result, instead of an idyllic evening of sitting in a lawn chair chewing on sunflower seeds, I spend a couple hours driving back and forth, making sure a glove isn't left at the field, eating dinner out of a cooler, and maybe being at a game long enough to see one or two at-bats.
Last year was the first year that Zach didn't play baseball because it overlapped with his tennis season, and I don't think he, or I, missed it. It was great to be able to watch Charlie's games from beginning to end, with the only interruption being Zoe occasionally getting pelted by rocks on the playground. This year, when the registration information came out, I asked Charlie if he wanted to try out for a team since, with only one kid playing, we'd have time. His response was: "I don't think so. In fact, I think I'm done with baseball. I just want to play tennis this summer. Batting messes up my forehand."
I knew this day would eventually arrive, but I wasn't really ready for it to happen this year. On the bright side, I won't have to deal with a stupid snack/drink schedule. Also, having an entire summer of unscheduled evenings will be a great, albeit surreal, experience. And I probably won't miss having to say, "Go get your cleats on and grab your glove because you have practice in fifteen minutes." But to be honest, the thought of no more baseball made me a little sad. I played softball throughout my childhood, into high school, and even played on a couple adult leagues until my boys' schedules took over my life. To think that I will never be able to yell, "Run! Stop looking at the ball and get your butt to second!" or "Throw it to the shortstop! Haven't you ever heard of a cutoff?" again kind of got me choked up.
And that's when I remembered that Zoe is five, which means she is finally old enough to play tee-ball two nights a week. Now all I need is for the damn snow to melt.