Life in 409

This blog is about my quest to declutter my apartment. It focuses on clutter, decluttering, and the endless quest to separate the junk from the important stuff - at home and in life.

Monday, April 26, 2010

To Mom or not to Mom?

My son J is playing Little League this year. Having turned 10 in December, he is in the Minors, which here consists of 9 & 10 year olds. He had not played last year, but did play 2 years ago. Of course Minors is very different from 7 & 8s; some of these 10 year olds are big and strong and a few show a hint of fuzzy facial hair. The pitching is faster and harder; the stakes are higher; there are playoffs as well.

J is a decent player. He can get a good hit to the infield, he waits for his pitch and doesn't swing wildly, he listens to the base coaches and he makes strong attempts in the outfield. He is short, but not the shortest on the team. With 9 plate appearances he is batting .400 with an on-base percentage of .667 including getting hit by a pitch in Game 1.

The roster has, I think, 12 kids... the coach can put 9 in the outfield and let 10 bat in any given inning. The thing is, they have played 4 games so far, and my J has sat out for portions of three. In Game 1, he batted the whole game, but was only in the field for the second half. Game 2, he again batted the whole game, but was only in the field for the first half. Game 3, he played the whole game. Game 4, he played the first 3 innings, then was out for the second three (no at-bats or fielding).

So... with 1/4 of the regular season down already, I am unhappy with this pattern. With 12 kids and 4 games, should he have really been out for portions of 3 of them, when other kids haven't sat out at all?

I don't want to be "that mom." But he is frustrated and sad. When he brought it up after Game 4, I told him I would speak to the coach if he wanted me to, and likewise would stay out of it if he preferred. At first he said he wanted me to talk to him, but later said he would do it himself. His prepared speech is simple - "I was hoping you could put me in the whole game this time, since I have sat out a few times already." I suggested he wait before speaking - maybe it wouldn't be an issue the next game. Intelligent and thinking ahead, he would rather speak up early, because once the lineup is made, they won't change it. He was very disappointed that Sunday's games were rained out, as I think he had already psyched himself up.

Look, I know coaches want to win. I know that. But I also know that kids don't want to sit on the bench (not to mention that parents who pay for Little League should get to see their child play more than a few innings a week). Again, my son is far from the worst player on the team. The assistant coach told him several times on Saturday what a great job he did -- he only batted once, but he hit a double and then scored from second; he also made a good stop and throw from center field. Does that mean he will play him next time, or was it only empty reassurance?

So what do you think, parents? Should I stay out of it? Next game is Tuesday evening. I will be at work and will probably not get there until the game is half over, if at all. My husband thinks we should stay out of it as parents (but let J speak up if he chooses). Thoughts?

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