Monday, February 11, 2013

Where have I been? A Baseball (and Football and Basketball) Mom's Reflection

I'm back!  I can't believe that my last post was June 2012.  I did not intend to take such a long break from my blog, but this busy mom has had to save every little bit of extra energy just to make it through the past 8 months!  So what has changed?  Well, we entered a new phase of our sports' lives.  Big B began middle school summer baseball.  This was our first dive into the world of middle school sports.   At the same time, he was selected for little league 12-year-old All-Stars.  He decided to attempt to do both, but quickly changed his mind.  During his first middle school game, he realized what a detriment it was for him to continue youth baseball, which included a lighter bat, shorter bases, and a smaller outfield.  He needed to put all of his effort into learning to pitch a farther distance, swing a heavier bat, and defend a larger center field.  I was proud of him for coming to that decision on his own, especially when some of his friends and team-mates were actually missing middle school games so they could play All-Stars.  This baseball commitment was not very time-consuming, but when coupled with middle school football workouts in the mornings, it was enough to keep us busy with just Big B's sports.

We also encountered a new phase in Little B's baseball "career."  He was selected for 8-year-old All-Stars.  This was his first year to play highly competitive baseball.  We played over 10 multi-day tournaments during the course of the summer, with practice nearly every day we didn't have games.  The season culminated with a 5-day tournament in Arkansas, approximately 7 hours from our hometown in Mississippi.  We returned home with only a week to spare before we started back to school.  While it had been an exciting summer of baseball, it had also been an exhausting summer with little "down time." 

Before Little B's baseball ever ended, we were already focused hard on football season.  Big B had his first mandatory middle school football camp, and my husband's high school football season was in full swing.  He was coaching in a different school district than previously, and the added 35-40 minute commute meant huge changes for us.  I have always been responsible for the kids' sports without much help from him during football season; however, I no longer had the option of dropping the kids off at high school practice if I had something important I needed to do for myself or the family. (Yes, I went from July-October without a visit to the hair salon as a result of this change.)  Football coaches' families sacrifice a lot during the season.  But...I have been a coach's wife for almost 16 years.  I have learned how to adjust, and I always know that the thrill of Friday night football makes up for the everyday sacrifices.

Big B was the starting quarterback for the 7th grade team.  He worked hard to earn that position.  It wasn't very easy, and there were more losses than wins, but he LOVED every minute of it.  As usual, Little B did not want to play football.  My husband is not a big fan of peewee football, especially for kids in the younger grades.  Little B's All-Star baseball coaches wanted him to play on a travel team in the fall, but my husband and I made an executive decision that it simply wasn't feasible financially or logistically to play travel baseball during football season.  We had attempted it one year with Big B, and it had been a nightmare! 

My husband's team finished their regular season and headed to the playoffs just as middle school basketball season was beginning.  Big B had very little transition time from football to basketball.  Then, it was time for peewee basketball practices to begin for Little B.  He was only able to to practice for a short while before having his tonsils and adenoids removed AND having sinus surgery.  He missed the following three weeks of practice and his first game.  Following the second game of the season, he fell in P.E. class at school and got a mild concussion.  In the last two weeks, he's been able to enjoy basketball (his favorite sport) with no distractions or injuries.  Thank goodness!  Big B finished basketball two weeks ago.  His final basketball game was on a Thursday (the same night as the mandatory baseball parent meeting), and he began 5-day-a-week baseball practices the next Monday.  Little B is only halfway through his basketball season, but is already registered for baseball.  This transition is ALWAYS the hardest one of the year for us.

So, here we are.  I'm exhausted just writing about our lives for the last 8 months.  (And I haven't even mentioned church or school or work.)  I've done this for so long that it is almost second-nature for me.  I said to a friend just a few days ago that I will have to re-train myself on how to live once the boys are grown.  I've already picked out a few church and civic activities that I think I will enjoy one day, and I will definitely learn to quilt and knit.  For now, however, my three guys help to define who I am.  And that makes me happy.  I'm proud to be the football coach's wife and Big B's and Little B's mom.  I am, and always will be, their greatest fans!