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Castrating an Unwitting Softball Commissioner

A child who shall remain nameless (so if you think you know which child she is, you don’t!) came home tonight from her first softball practice of the season having discovered that none of her former teammates are on her team this year. And even suckier a lot of them are on the same, different team this year.

She was distraught. Quite distraught. I felt really bad for her. It does suck. So I leapt into action digging the softball commissioner’s digits out of my husband with a hacksaw. I was going to fix this, stat! But something strange happened. As I dialed with murderous rage a little part of me stepped outside of my body to observe.

The Commish picked up. I tried to keep my voice level and calm despite the distraught ruckus in the background, explained the situation to the Commish then awaited his answer. The part of me that had stepped outside of the situation and was carefully observing the exchange, overheard how terrified the Commish sounded on the other end of the phone line. It was as if he were prepared to have my arm reach through the phone line and snatch off his balls.

Just that moment’s tremor of fear in his voice calmed me down. No matter what he said I knew my kid was not going to move teams, we were not going to let her drop out of the season and she would eventually make friends on her new team and everything would be fine.

I listened as the Commish explained that my daughter was one of the strongest in-fielders which is why they needed her where she was to balance the talent. He had me a Complimenting My Kid’s Athleticism. Now the calm me and the freaked out/helicoptering/I-don’t-ever-want-my-kid-to-suffer-even-though-it-might-force-her-to-grow-up me merged.

There were more tears and recriminations once I shared the sad news. First I empathized, then enough was enough. The evening ended with my daughter coming into my bedroom and telling me she’d been praying to God about getting on a team with her friends, and also about middle school and also about puberty and that God wasn’t holding up His end of the deal and that she doesn’t believe in him anymore.

We don’t go to church. We don’t have a spiritual plan. We pray spottily. Still, I found myself saying that she didn’t have to believe in God if she didn’t want to. But that sometimes the God of my understanding doesn’t give me what I want, but often He gives me what I need. And maybe this disappointment would help her grow strong enough to handle further disappointments which Life will throw her way regardless of how good she is. And maybe she’ll grow to be so strong that disappointments won’t scare her very much anymore.

She is asleep now. Her sister is asleep. Henry is asleep. And I’m going to Boden to buy a dress. Not online. I’m flying to London. Cheers.  S

Boden Store


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  1. Jenni Chiu @ MommyNaniBooboo
    Jenni Chiu @ MommyNaniBooboo 4 February, 2013, 22:22

    Wait – do we get to fly to Europe to shop when hard stuff happens? No one told me that.

    Reply this comment
  2. ciaran
    ciaran 5 February, 2013, 08:28

    I’d like to fly to London… Anything good at Boden?

    Is that where tween/teen moms seek refuge these days? Please add me to the memo list!

    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 5 February, 2013, 08:57

      Actually no, it’s where I seek refuge. Now I just need the kind of job that requires me to wear clothes. Wait. That came out wrong. I’m a writer. Pajamas all day would work.

      Reply this comment
  3. Susan Bonifant
    Susan Bonifant 5 February, 2013, 09:11

    I liked that split-screen observation of your actions. Also,your daughter’s willingness to let you have your say, AND her willingness to consider your tried and true advice. Soon enough,she’ll make you SWEAR you won’t address the coach with as much as a dirty look, no matter what. That was a tough one for me.

    Reply this comment
  4. Sharon Greenthal
    Sharon Greenthal 5 February, 2013, 09:36

    My daughter played softball for 9 years. The politics involved would make the Obama/Romney campaigns look like a kiddy party. Fortunately for my kid she was a good player and her position was catcher, which isn’t one of the more popular spots (shortstop, anyone?). I didn’t enjoy being part of the softball world at all – except to watch her play. All those kids who were so outstanding and were going to college on a scholarship? ONE made it.

    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 5 February, 2013, 09:51

      I just want her to have a good time, make good friends and have the sense of camaraderie a team can bring. Perhaps I’m hoping for too much?

      Reply this comment
  5. Desiree Eaglin
    Desiree Eaglin 5 February, 2013, 10:45

    When you register her next season, make sure you make it very clear on the form and whom-ever you’re talking to that you would like her on the same team as her friends. If you want to that is. We can do that here on Mars and I’m sure you can there too.

    Reply this comment
  6. Jasmine Forte
    Jasmine Forte 5 February, 2013, 13:00

    You. Complete. Me. That is all!!!!!

    Reply this comment
  7. Gayle
    Gayle 5 February, 2013, 13:57

    Daughter was in same situation with her basketball team. All neighborhood/school friends were on one (coached by neighborhood dad) and she was on another. I was actually glad, which took some explainly to my husband. She made 9 new friends, which will come in handy in jr high. Plus, she got a chance to shine. Your daughter will do great – no worries.

    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 5 February, 2013, 14:35

      I just read this to my daughter and it made her feel more hopeful. Thanks for the advice.

      Reply this comment
  8. Wanda
    Wanda 5 February, 2013, 15:35

    Oh, boy, the compulsion to FIX IT ALL sux hard, right? Loved your “out of body” experience on the phone with the coach. I hope to achieve that often when dealing with those in charge of making decisions that affect my kids’ lives (how DARE they?!).

    Thanks for what you do, you always make me laugh!

    &8:~) Wanda

    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 6 February, 2013, 00:21

      Hi Wanda — yes, I am trying to Fix It All. It’s hard to know when the skinned knee lady is right.

      Reply this comment
    TANIA LUVIANO 5 February, 2013, 19:22


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  10. Tee
    Tee 5 February, 2013, 19:49

    I agree with Gayle above. I know that your daughter can’t see it now but this could turn out to be a terrific experience for her! You must have had a proud mommy moment “strongest in-fielders” that’s impressive! Good luck and can I go to London with you??

    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 6 February, 2013, 00:22

      Yes. We can go to London. But first I have to go to Spain with Tania to eat a lovely paella.

      Reply this comment
  11. Pattie
    Pattie 5 February, 2013, 21:17

    that’s tough. Sometimes it’s stuff like this that redefines who we are. I’m sure she’ll be grateful for it one day!

    Reply this comment
  12. Sharona Zee
    Sharona Zee 8 February, 2013, 05:53

    you’re doing the right thing (about the dress),
    no compliments on the parenting (because you are a natural) 🙂

    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 8 February, 2013, 14:07

      Sharona — thanks sweets! I’m making it up as I go along, I’ll tell you that.

      Reply this comment
  13. Ellen Dolgen
    Ellen Dolgen 12 February, 2013, 13:35

    I love how this became a teaching moment for both you and your daughter. And you are both stronger for it.

    Reply this comment

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