Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Another round of thanks

Having "enjoyed" a weekend of playtime with my Dad and JAM, I need to share my thanks. And I'll explain the quotes in a moment. This past weekend was the second annual (here for the first) boy's trip up to Williamsport, PA for the opening weekend of the Little League World Series. I feel like I said it all last year, except for another huge round of thank-you's to my Dad for joining us and especially for picking up the hotel tab. Wouldn't have been able to do the trip without that help so aside from being able to spend real quality time with him and JAM, he was really responsible for the whole thing and it was much appreciated.

But, I need to explain the quotes from above. "Enjoy" is about how I'm feeling about the whole trip and it is almost exclusively my fault. Much like every parent I'm sure, I have certain mental images running around in my noggin about how things are going to play out in all sorts of situations. I have visions for high school graduations, first weddings, second weddings (joking!), grandkids, very lucrative employment so these dang kids can take care of us when we're old and poor, etc., etc. This weekend was on a slightly smaller scale but not really any different. I had a vision, especially after last year and all of our (JAM and me) talks about what to expect this year, of being able to sit and actually watch some baseball with my Dad and my son. You know, we'd talk about what was going on down on the field, I'd explain some of the finer points of the game to my baseball-playing/loving son. We talked before hand about our (read - "MY") plan. Hill sliding would be fine, yes we'd get some treats along the way, yes we'd visit the fun-zone and throw balls and act silly at the games, but we-were-going-for-the-purpose-of-watching-baseball. (!!!)

Yeah, didn't so much work out that way. We brought our lawn chairs (which was a good idea because those hard metal bleachers are not so kind on the 'ol posterior) but that also meant we had to set up on the upper flat area in the outfield. And that meant sitting behind other people (locals) who know more about this setup than we do and they get there early and take up huge portions of the flat space so no matter what you have to sit behind someone. Wow, that was a long sentence and I'm sure not at all grammatically correct. So here we were, sitting behind mostly empty folding chairs but that meant JAM couldn't really see. And when you can't see something all that well you tend to get kinda bored with it. Can't blame him one bit. But, once you get bored you quickly find other things to do, including sliding and wanting treats and all the other crap we'd talked about.

To make an already long story shorter - JAM did very little baseball watching. Which meant that we got to do not as much baseball watching as we would have liked. For my Dad and I, we could sit in the outfield all dang day and watch wild pitch after passed ball (seriously, someone teach these kids how to catch already!!!) nice and serenely. JAM's got to move - no surprise there. And, for the most part, I let him go off on his own. For long periods of time too. We brought his (my old) pay-per-use phone so he had a way to get in touch with me if he had to but for the most part he just went off and played the games and went sliding and whatever the heck else he did. He showed up when some kid laughed at him on the hill (seriously, he needs to learn to laugh at himself a little bit so not everything is quite the end of the world drama he thinks it is), or when he was hungry (again) for some Italian Ice or another hot dog but mostly he was on his own. We had been letting him go on his own more and more this summer - here - so with the security being tighter there than at the airport I felt absolutely safe in letting him spread his wings a bit.

The end result? I was sad that my vision didn't play out. I wanted to have a bunch of time sitting there talking baseball with my kid, but it didn't work like that. I knew in my brain that it wasn't going to, but I set myself up for it anyway. We did get some time but between the poor views and the ridiculously long delays in the game so ESPN could get in their commercials it was hard for JAM to live up to my unrealistic expectations. My fault entirely, but it still doesn't take away from that little bit of the parent that mourns when the vision doesn't take shape quite like it was imagined.

Here's to good times, and realizing that I need to take what I get and be thankful for it.

1 comment:

morninglight mama said...

Good for you for being so aware of the differences in your expectations and his. :) Something that we've always struggled with, right??

love you!