We signed Sam up for a baseball team and he loves it. We drag Jack and Quinn along to games and they don’t love it, unless there’s a playground nearby and then they do. Honestly, I mostly make Jack and Quinn go to the games so when Sam complains about having to sit in a waiting room while Jack gets therapy, I can say, “Well, Jack sits around while you play baseball, right?”
Sam has always been excited by sports. Not so much Jack. However, Jack has been asking to play hockey a lot. In a fantastic turn of events, there is an incredible special needs hockey organization nearby. In a less fantastic turn of events, they are on hiatus until the fall.
One of the people involved in that hockey team organized a group to get together and play baseball. It seemed like a great way for Jack and I to meet some of the people, and, hey, maybe Jack would like baseball too.
[Insert laugh here.]
Today was Jack’s first baseball meetup. I’d been talking it up to him, trying to get him excited. Alex is out of town, so I had all three kiddos in the car at the crack of dawn today (for me the crack of dawn is 8:30 a.m.) with mitts, bats, water, and snacks. I had my MapQuest printout of directions to the field, which was kind of a guess in the first place, because our instructions were to meet in Giant Park on the I Don’t Know Where This City Is-side of the bridge on Incredibly Long Street.
Then, to make it even better, I missed one of the directions on my printout and ended up completely lost and headed in what I assumed was the wrong direction. That was when we had this conversation:
Me: “Jack, I think we’re lost. We might not be able to make it to baseball practice. If we can’t go would you be a lot sad or a little sad?”
Jack: “I won’t be sad at all.”
Sam: “Because you don’t like baseball?”
So, while I’m trying to figure out where to turn my car around and wracking my brain to think if there’s a playground anywhere near where I am, we happened upon a bridge. Just on the other side of said bridge was a baseball field.
Isn’t that just like me? The one time my family doesn’t want to attend an event, I end up finding it.
Jack had fun for a little while. Sam had a great time playing. Quinn sat on the sidelines and pouted.
At some point, Jack decided he would go sit down with Quinn. I got a little sad and hid some tears behind my sunglasses. Here we were, with all these fantastic people and great kids who were happily playing baseball, and my kid was the only one who wouldn’t play.
Here’s something though. I’ve evidently come a long way. Because I self-talked myself a little bit. I realized that I was foisting my expectations on Jack, and you know what? It’s okay if he doesn’t like to play baseball. Shit, I don’t even like to play baseball, so why would I expect that he should have to?
His refusal to want to play signified nothing other than the fact that he doesn’t like playing a slow-moving, specific skill-requiring game in the hot sun. Cool. No problem. Moving on.
There was an adjacent playground, so we headed over there and played for a while.
I’m glad that we went though. It was nice to meet some of the people from the hockey team, and Sam got in some play time. Although I have to take him to his baseball practice tonight, where I expect this entire process to repeat itself.