Monday, May 16, 2011

Long Johns and Phillies

   Mother nature has been nothing but twisted lately. Which is why at the end of May I am rifling through Laura's underwear drawer searching for long johns so that I can sit in the cold drizzle and watch Riley play baseball. I have been checking my email obsessively over the past hour hoping for a cancellation even though I know this would disappoint my boy because let's just face it, I would rather spend the evening picking slivers out of my eyeballs than sitting in this miserable gray haze pretending I am happy to be there.
   I am just being honest. I cannot imagine I am the only parent who has nothing better to do. I am wickedly thinking of all the ways I can get out of this. I can tell Riley that he has a fever. He did ride the roller coaster this weekend at his chorus field trip even though his doctor strictly forbid him to do so. I can tell him that I got an email from a parent saying the game was cancelled and then when the shit hits the fan tomorrow tell him I am sorry they were mistaken. I could bribe him with a twenty...
   I know that I will do none of these things. Because even when I feel like walking death and a hot bath with epsom salts is something akin to a magic spring appearing in the Sahara, I love my child more than I love myself. And when I see him on deck practicing his swing, I actually get a bit giddy.
   I am not one of those parents who becomes a split personality the moment the game starts. I have seen perfectly put together, professional parents suddenly turn schizophrenic and go batshit on a ref at a basketball game. Parents who forget they are there to encourage their children and suddenly become the coach. Not a nice coach, either. There are parents that I specifically watch for and try to sit as far from as possible. There are groups of parents that are known to just get out of hand as a group, in a sort of mob mentality, during a game. But it's not hard to see how it happens. Nothing has that particular joy like watching your child play sports. There is a yiddish word that describes that utter joy a mother feels, that complete pride, that welling up feeling we get inside us when we are absorbed in our children. We have no word at all like it. Kvelling.
   Even as I am hollering in to Riley that if I get any more frustrated with the loud noises, the random chaos just for the sake of being loud and for no other purpose whatsoever, that I will not want to take him to his game...even as I dread leaving early to stop in at the professor's house to feed her cats, do her dishes and water her plants, I know inside that it will all be worth it and that I won't back out no matter how many times I threaten to do so.
   If Riley meows one more time, or screeches like a harpy, or says the word crap or frick one more time, I may sit in the truck alone for a half hour to put myself together before we leave. I will console myself with the fact that I don't have to cook dinner tonight; I am going to buy them all ballpark hotdogs. This might even get Ian out of his room and to a game to cheer on his little brother. If I have to go then damnit I'm dragging the rest of them with me!
   And with a deep breath, I hitch up my long johns, pour myself a steaming hot cup of joe and grab my keys and a loud cd  before I bolt to the truck.
   If I'm lucky, Riley will forget he has a game and won't even know I'm down there waiting for him. Whose fault will it be then?
   At least I see the comedy. It just might save me in the end.

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