Baseball Bummer

As a parent, there is nothing worse than seeing your child feel defeated.  And as much as you want to scoop them up and make it all better, you can’t always do that.  It’s just an unfortunate part of growing up.  My heart nearly broke into a thousand tiny pieces when I had to experience this agonizing part of parenting last night at my son’s Little League baseball game.

It was his second time at bat after being tagged out before even reaching first base in the first inning, and I was doing my motherly duty of cheering him on from the sidelines.  And after several missed swings, he finally made contact with the ball and got a decent hit.  However, the first baseman grabbed the ball a little too quickly and once again, tagged him out.  Dammit!  His little head turned in my direction, and I could instantly see the disappointment on his face.  He walked with his head down the whole way back to sit with his team and tried like hell not to cry.  I knew I shouldn’t baby him, but seeing him THAT down in the dumps was more than I could take.  So I quietly went over and whispered in his ear that I was very proud of him for trying his best.  A lump formed in my throat when I saw his little lip quivering and his eyes getting red.  Nevertheless, I forced myself to walk away, and I prayed that the next at-bat would be better for him.

Unfortunately, though, it only got worse from there.  The next time he hit the ball fairly hard, but it went right into the hands of a VERY tall short stop (seriously, I’m wondering if this kid was actually in 4th grade — he was THAT freakin’ tall!)  My heart literally sank into the pit of my stomach when the kid caught it, and I had to hold myself back from running onto the field and knocking it right out of his damn hands.  I just knew how upset my son was going to be.  And sure enough, he came back to sit on the bench with big tears welling up in his eyes.  After seeing this, even my tough-love husband couldn’t resist going over and squeezing him tight.  Sometimes, you just gotta say to hell with it and go with your gut, so we stood there in a big bear hug with our extremely bummed out little baseball player who kept saying over and over again, “I didn’t even get to first base.”  I wanted so badly to take away this feeling from him, but I couldn’t.  So, I did what any mom would do in that situation — I bought him whatever kind of ice cream he wanted after the game.

As much as it killed us to see our boy so down on himself like that, we were at least thrilled to know that he’s finally found something about which he truly cares.  Before this season of baseball, we were convinced that the only real interest he had was in video games.  So, in an effort to support his baseball fever, my husband decided to finagle an extra ticket to the Cubs game tomorrow and take him out of school to have a father/son day at Wrigley Field.  Seeing his sweet face light up at this news was the perfect ending to a really crummy night.


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15 Responses to Baseball Bummer

  1. I think watching from the sidelines as our kids are in pain is agonizing!

    I like how you and your husband trusted your gut on this one. You comforted him yet you didn’t feel like your job was to take away his experience, even though it was painful.

    Growing up really sucks sometimes. As parents we get to experience it twice – once living it, and again, watching our kids do it. Thanks for sharing this story. So many parents can relate, I’m sure!


    • mama2point0 says:

      Wow, you totally hit the nail on the head about growing up. We do experience it twice, don’t we? I actually think it’s harder being on the parent side because your heart can’t help but want to explode with all that emotion built up for your child. I just hope I can keep my heart from crumbling to pieces before they go off to college some day….

  2. Ouchies…add that to my “really not looking forward to doing/seeing” list. You guys handled it amazingly well though!

    • mama2point0 says:

      Thanks so much for your sweet comment re: the “Baseball Bummer”. It was definitely a very difficult parenting moment. It kills your heart to see your child that upset. Hopefully, it’ll be motivation for him to practice harder and give it his all next time around.

  3. Marylu says:

    Here I sit sobbing, with tears streaming down my cheeks for all 3 of you!! I never felt so helpless! I am thankfull that both of you were there. I, too, wish there was something I could do to ease the pain in all of you.

    • mama2point0 says:

      The guys are at the Cubs game today & plan to practice hitting the ball in the backyard this weekend. I hope the incident at the game on Wednesday will be motivation to try even harder. He seems to really really like baseball, so we’ll just keep on cheering him on along the way.

  4. Rob F says:

    Oh, that is so touching. And what a great job you guys did of parenting–finding the right balance between consoling him and letting him get through it mainly on his own.

    And from what I see of the Cubs box score right now (1-0 Cubs Top of the 9th), not a lot of those major league hitters are having much success getting on base today either. The perfect game for him to see after a rough day at the plate!!

    • mama2point0 says:

      Thank you for the support re: the “Baseball Bummer.” It was such a difficult parenting moment (one of many, I’m sure.) The boys are actually at the Cubs game today — awesome day for a baseball game! My son was super pumped, so it’ll be a great ending to a rough week for him. 🙂

  5. angela says:

    ok had me almost in tears
    who would have known being a mom would be so tough
    my oldest started football last year and in the playoffs as he was running on to the field he tripped and fell it was the hardest thing to not run and grab him but i couldnt im glad u got to ugg moms job is tough

    • mama2point0 says:

      Oh man, that must’ve been so tough seeing your son trip like that. It’s not easy to watch them fall down, but it’s so important for them to learn how to pick themselves right back up without us.

  6. I totally know what you are talking about. But it is also a good lesson to learn that you don’t have to be “The Best” at everything. Learning to do your best and enjoy the game is very important too. How did his fielding go? Is there something you can point to as a positive?

    We can’t keep our kids from every disappointment–and we shouldn’t. But it does break a parent’s heart to see it in our child’s eyes. Keep loving and encouraging…he will get on base eventually!

    It is not all about winning…it is about doing your best and being a part of the team! Good going, Mom!

    • mama2point0 says:

      Thanks so much for your comments about the “Baseball Bummer.” It is such a hard lesson for them to learn that you can’t win at everything, but it’s a part of life. I know this will be one of many times I have to pull my heart out of my stomach watching in the wings as he learns his way.

  7. Dmovelle says:

    You are doing great! I hate to tell ya this is a baby step for You! Eventually they outgrow “the net”. I know. Mine is almost 23. But I am always there. Got a power steering pump today at auto parts forHMOm and ordered rack and pinion….motherhood is forever.

    • mama2point0 says:

      Thank you! I know this is just one of many times along the way when my heart is going to break into pieces watching my kids experience the potholes of life. Man, parenthood is tough!

  8. squiggysmom says:

    Been there – done that.

    You just wait till your Son has to pitch an inning….. And really blows it. ((voice of experience!!))

    At the very least, it opens the door to some great one-on-one parenting or family time with him where you (or hubby) practice pitching and he practices hitting the ball. Worst case scenario you take him to a batting cage…..

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