Our Spring sports season got off to a sluggish start thanks in part to a ridiculous abundance of April showers. The entire month was a sloppy, sloggy mess, made worse by the fact that the color white figures prominently into three of the four uniforms currently being worn by the athletes in our house.
Hayden tried out for the high school tennis team in late March and made the varsity team as the only freshman playing #3 singles. (There are #1, #2 & #3 rankings for singles and doubles in the competitive circuit, sort of like “chairs” in an orchestra). Obviously we were incredibly proud of him, and even though he would kill me for saying this out loud, Hayden was pretty proud of himself too.
I am a terrible spectator. My kids have all played team sports since they were young, but there’s something far more unnerving about watching your child play alone against another challenger. Thankfully Hayden has not inherited my weak stomach or flinching resolve. Again I have been amazed by Hayden’s mental toughness, as has his coach. This year Hayden’s pool of competitors has been fairly easy to defeat and he won most of his matches handily - at times in fact, so quickly that he was finished playing by the time I showed up to the courts. However, there were two foes who gave him a run for his money and he had to fight really hard against them for the wins. At the last match of the season I was only able to watch 15 minutes of his set before I had to run other kids to other practices, but I could see that Hayden was having to work extra hard to win his points. I was almost relieved when I had to leave, but scared to return and learn the outcome of his match. When I came back I was fully prepared to give an “it’s okay to lose” pep talk to my son. Instead, the coach’s father ran up to me and informed me that Hayden had cinched the conference win for his team by winning his match…in a tiebreak set, no less. Phew. But I admit it, I lack competitive confidence. Thankfully my son seems far more capable of handling the pressure than his Nervous Nellie mother.
Today Hayden is competing in Regionals as the #1 seed in his division. Of course he’s completely stoked for the two days of competition, whereas I already have a stomach ache and his first match isn’t until 2:00. He’ll have to face the same tough competitors again, and I told him that they’d be gunning for him, but he seems to be almost Zen about the whole thing. No matter how he finishes out the season I’m already beyond proud of him and look forward to his next 3 years of play.
Although Hayden played baseball for three years, Weston took no interest in the sport until Hayden decided to quit. (Hmmmm….) Anyway, he started playing for the first time last spring and showed a remarkable knack for the game, especially in the catcher’s position. Weston’s hard-headedness and single-mindedness serve him well in the role because it becomes his mission in life to ensure that no one makes it on base. If they do, his next mission in life is to make sure that they never make it home. This year he was too old for Little League, so he moved up to the Babe Ruth division and so far, with just a couple of games under his belt, Weston’s continuing to prove himself as a solid player (even though he says he still likes soccer better.) Can I tell you that I love saying, “Weston’s #1″?
And then there’s this goofball…
Kellan is in the Rookie League this year. Hysterical. His coach has got to be - hands down - the most patient man on Earth. At this age the “games” consist of each team taking a turn letting their entire rotation hit while the other team mills around in the approximate location of where the real positions are for four “innings”. This means that at any given moment in the game there are 6 second basemen and at least two kids in the outfield pulling grass and spinning in circles. If you were to take an aerial view of one of Kellan’s games I’m pretty sure it would look almost the same as when someone steps on an anthill and tiny bodies go scrambling around in every direction at high speed. He loves it and so do I.
And what about the girls? They spend most of their time performing cartwheels & backflips (Eliza), whining for food (Riss) and abusing my iPad by taking a ridiculous number of photos and videos (both). I have nearly perfected the art of the car picnic, by the way.
I have to pick Hayden up from school in 45 minutes to take him to one of the other high schools for the tournament which means it’s time to dose up on the Pepto Bismol. Tomorrow we have 1 soccer game, 2 baseball games, one gymnastics class and the other half of the tennis tournament, so I should probably take stock of my K-Cup inventory as well.