Susan Vollenweider | Out of the Land of Denial and Onto the Sidelines

05/21/2013 12:00 AM

05/20/2013 3:18 PM

“Mom! Where is my black baseball belt? We have to leave in 10 minutes and you put it away last year. Where is it?” Noah demanded of me.

“I put it in your dresser. You kept using it as a weapon and I kept taking it away,” I reminded him.

“Well, it’s not there!”

I will never understand how the finding of all things falls on someone who is not the owner of all things.

Noah and I went to his room and looked in his dresser. No belt.

“It was there,” I told him.

“Well, it’s not now.”

“Thank you, Captain Obvious. Where did you put it?”

“I didn’t put it anywhere, you did.”

Round and round we went with the non-productive conversation. I walked over to his closet. “Maybe it’s in here?”

“No. I just cleaned my closet, it’s not in there.”

“Let’s just take a …” I pulled the door open and sighed heavily.

I learned a few things in those 10 minutes before we had to leave for Noah’s first ballgame of the season:

One: My son has a very loose definition of “clean closet.”

Two: When an 8-year-old folds his baseball jersey, pants, socks, hat and new cleats on his dresser the night before his first game of the season, don’t assume that there is a belt in the stack.

Three: Without a belt, baseball pants really won’t fall down no matter how much he insists they will.

Four: As much as I was enjoying living in denial, baseball season is here.

I have whined, carried on, discussed my lack of affinity for this game before; it’s no secret. This is my 11th year of sitting on the dusty sidelines cheering. Eleventh year of slathering myself in sunblock or bug spray. Eleventh year of Gatorade and icy coolers of water. Eleventh year of shouting, “Good eye!” “That’s how you do it!” “Nice try!” and “Woohoo!” from my perch.

The boys’ teams have been practicing for a few months now, but frigid cold, rain and snow freed up evenings that would have been spent at practices. Further enabling my denial — Brian’s job was downsized three months ago. Nicely, in a silver-lining kind of way, he has been available to shuttle the boys.

But last week Brian got a new job, and last week the boys both had their first games. I dragged myself out of denial and assumed my role as Chief Baseball Taxi Driver.

“You’re bringing a book to a baseball game?” Luke asked me as I was packing my tote.

“You don’t play the whole time, I do a lot of waiting.” I answered, making sure my reading glasses were in the bag, too.

“But it’s baseball. No one reads at a baseball game,” he informed me.

“I do.”

But I didn’t. Not at that game. I secured a place on the bleachers (my folding chair died last season and in the Land of Denial buying a new one is easily forgotten) and hauled out my book. But a cute toddler began offering me gifts of little clods of dirt and sticks. I chatted with other team parents, new and seasoned. I covered myself in bug spray and clapped at the appropriate times.

“Good eye!”

“Nice try!”


I’m certain of a few things:

One: I will never love baseball.

Two: My boys love baseball.

Three: I love my boys and will do anything for them. (Within reason, of course.)

Four: The black belt was hidden in Luke’s room after Noah tried to use it as a weapon on Luke.

Five: I sigh a lot.


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