Surely make you lose your mind - I apologize to the Eagles for stealing their melody there. Ball season is in full swing here and let me tell you, there should be some sort of compensation package for the wives and husbands who volunteer their time and talents to the fields. I'll confess, I never really gave much thought to the volunteers when I went to my nephew's games when he was little. I never stopped to think about the people 'behind the scenes' who tried to make things run as smoothly as possible for the kids who played ball. Well, then I grew up and married one of those volunteers. I never realized how much work it took to make everything run smoothly and to make sure everything is coordinated so that the schedule stays on target and all the kiddies get to play.
My husband is one of those people who believes that every child has the right to play ball if that's what they want to do. As I am typing this, I can hear him outside having a conversation with someone regarding just that. Every kid should have a chance at the bat. Every kid should have a chance to warm the bench, too. Sure, each team is going to have an all-star player. But there are those kids who are there because they love them game - who may not be that great at the sport. They deserve just as much play time as the hot shot with the golden arm or that one with the wicked swing.
When the Doodlebug played softball, she was awesome. That's not just a mother's opinion, that was the general opinion at the field. She was an awesome pitcher for her team and she had a wickedly good swing. Did her Dad play her a lot? Absolutely. Did she ever sit on the bench so that other kids could give it a shot? You betcha. And she completely understood. Never pitched a fit. Never pouted. Instead she'd look at me with those big blue eyes and mouth "French Fries PLEASE". Ah, the words that melt a mother's heart.
So I guess the moral of this story is, next time you're at a sporting event and you see the referee or the umpire or even the ladies who run the concession stand, realize that they are there because they love the game just as much as you. And the next time that kid gets called off the bench in the bottom of the fifth with the bases loaded and your first thought is "oh no!" just remember, that's somebody's child, too. Cheer them on - no matter what happens. After all, wouldn't the world be a much better place if we all got an 'at ta boy' every once in a while?
So until the next time, keep your eye on the ball...