My town has been invaded by zombies.
Hollow creatures that wear the faces of familiar townsfolk. The women dawn dark circles under their eyes and frequently go into a frenzied panic screaming about how they have forgotten something. The men walk with a gait hinting at sore muscles and their voices are hoarse to the ears.
There can be only one cause of the epidemic.
Little league baseball season.
Monday marked the mid-point in the chaos, and the symptoms seemed to take a turn for the worse. I believe it must be the realization by the parents that they are only halfway done with the madness.
I have two boys in baseball. My third spends his evenings asking me which town we are in. Like a roadie in a world famous rock band, he buckles into the car seat when instructed, cheers at the right times, then gathers all the gear to head back again to the truck. He lives his life one day and one field at a time.
Weeknights around my town are spent hurriedly searching for the missing baseball socks and belts. The velcro-esque socks can usually be found riding on the sandpaper pants, the real trick is making sure the right kid is wearing the right uniform.
May is go-time for parents, coaches and teachers alike. Games, grades, field trips, awards ceremonies and, the ever-loved by children and most hated by parents, field day. We begin preparing for it in January, promising our significant others that this year will be different.
It never is.
Andy and I communicate via text in May as we are never together in the same room long enough to have a normal conversation. He checks in daily to see where and when he should arrive. Occasionally, he mistakenly asks what is going on the rest of the week. My replying 500 word text frightens him so much, he deletes it and says he had a momentary lapse in judgement.
To handle the onslaught of May, I have calendars. Not a calendar, calendars. Color-coded ones. Each color represents a family member and the punishment for erasing any of the information is death. My laundry room wall resembles a shrine to some unknown god of days. I have a monthly calendar, a weekly calendar, and a daily calendar. Not to mention the specialized ones for baseball, PTO, school, individual classes, lunches, and dinners.
If you are new to baseball, as I am, here are some rules I have picked up along the way:
1.) Always wash the uniforms immediately after the games. They are always the source of the weird smell coming from the laundry room.
2.) Bat bags must remain packed and ready at all times. At least once during your baseball adventure the text will arrive from the coach screaming that there is a make-up game in 30 minutes across the county.
3.) Travel chairs must never be removed from the back of the car. Otherwise you will find yourself sitting on the ground, covered in fire ants, dirt, and some strange sticky goo, or you will have to stand the whole time and will find yourself cursing the man who invented baseball.
4.) Keep a cooler bag packed with snacks and drinks next to the freezer, ready to receive an ice pack at a moments notice, or you will have to declare bankruptcy due to the fast food bills.
5.) Sunglasses are a must. You may be able to control your voice and body language when your child gives away 4 runs to the opposing team after the ball went flying past him because he was playing with a loose tie on his glove, but the eyes always give you away.
6.) And finally, if you spot a yellow post-it riding on the rear of an unknowing mom reminding her of tonight’s game, just remove it and pretend it never happened. She doesn’t need the stress.
Sam waiting for the machine to be set up. We call him “Sam the slammer” because when he does manage to get a piece of the ball, the outfielders better be paying attention.
Grant warming up.