Monthly Archives: September 2013

The Other Side Of The Fence

It’s literal and figurative, I suppose.

These days, a couple of times a week, you can find me seated behind the backstop at my 10-year-old’s Little League Fall Ball games. He has come to love baseball and spends countless hours in front of our house, throwing the ball back and forth with his dad. Many of his neighborhood friends and classmates are on the team and the families have become a neat little community. We look forward to hanging out with them during games, sharing laughs and witty commentary.

But it has also become a time for me to sit quietly behind that backstop, just watching, taking things in. I often have the score book and a pencil in hand, keeping track of the action and pitch counts. But mostly what I do is watch.

Separated by that fence, I watch my 10-year-old becoming his own person. I settle in at the various fields in my camping chair, and, like a passenger aboard an airplane who’s been instructed to check the exits, I check the route to the field. To see what gate is locked or open. To find the quickest way out there, should my son need me.

But the thing is, he never does. In fact, it’s when I’m sitting behind that backstop that I realize – a little more each game – that, really, it is just my time to watch. His coaches are there to coach. His teammates are there to encourage. The umpires are there to advise. It’s me sitting back, letting others step in.

It’s just another reminder of the path that lies ahead, another burst of independence and growing up along the way. Like the student planner in his binder that he updates and attends to every day. Like his request for me to not wait at the bus stop anymore. Like wanting to ride to his buddy’s house a few blocks away – alone.

And so I watch.

As he comes in to close a game and, for the first time, hits a batter.

As he swings at pitch after pitch, striking out, and heads to the dugout to quietly shed tears.

As the rain pours down in the darkness and the overhead lights illuminate the field, he struggles to grip the wet ball and throw a strike.

My legs want to spring into action, to be mom – to leap a fence if necessary – to run to the field and say to that batter —and him— “Are you OK?” To throw my arms around him in the dugout and say, “Nice swing. Next time.” To walk to the mound and stand by his side and say “You can do this. You know you can.”

Instead, I sit.

I watch.

I cheer.

I consciously fight the mom urge.

I let his coaches coach.

I let his teammates encourage.

I let the umpires advise.

I just sit in my camping chair as my heart bursts with pride, watching this young man play the game that he loves out on the baseball field.

And I know that when I’m there, on the other side of that fence, I simply need to be his biggest fan.

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A Week-One Note To The Seahawks

Dear Seattle Seahawks,

Congratulations on your first regular season win against the Panthers!  Although I wasn’t home to watch it, I heard it was quite a game. It’s hard to believe it’s been just eight short months since we watched you in the playoffs. But I was quickly reminded of the powerful hold that you — and your games — seem to have over my husband Mo. And what a faithful, dedicated fan he is.

When I returned home I was glad to see that he managed to provide lunch for our two boys. Not simply sandwiches, either. He cooked up a warm meal for both of them, as witnessed by the leftover french fries, ketchup and turkey burgers that lay scattered across the countertops. What a relief to know that they didn’t go hungry during the three+ hours I was gone. It was also reassuring to know that he was able to focus intently on the game while leaving the clean up to me. I’m grateful for the opportunity to help support your team, even in the smallest of ways.

Another indication of his devotion to you is by how he couldn’t seem to find his way upstairs during the entire game. Not to get the plunger that might’ve been useful in the downstairs toilet. (No biggie. I mopped, wiped and cleaned it up when it overflowed 15 minutes before our friends’ arrival later). He also missed out on investigating the aggressive teen (bully?) who threatened to “fry” our 10-year-old out of the XBox Live online car-racing game, thus traumatizing him for the rest of the day. But I understand there’s a lot of anticipation for the season and that it was the first game and all. I totally get that the action was just too gripping to stray too far from the TV. It’s cool.

I must also offer you my sincere gratitude. Since he couldn’t sit still during some of the nail-biting action, he actually emptied out the entire dishwasher during the game. Not just the silverware. Not some measly glasses. Every single dish and utensil were returned to their rightful homes. I can’t remember the last time he did that. In fact, I didn’t even know he still considered that as one of the things on his chore list. But he quickly found an activity to help alleviate some of the stress when you were down 7-3. Thank you for that.

Anyhow, just wanted to wish you the best of luck this season. Believe me when I say we are looking forward to 15 more weeks of games (plus playoffs). We are especially eager to watch you face the Niners Sunday Night – and to see if the fans in Seattle will actually set the new Guinness World Record for crowd noise.

Please know that you can continue to count on Mo as your biggest, most supportive fan.

And please keep those high-intensity plays coming – I welcome the empty dishwasher.

Sincerely,

Mo’s Wife