Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Little League and A Weekend As Mr. Mom

This past weekend was rather busy for me. First T-ball game, Opening Day Parade, BBQ at the beach... Oh yeah and my wife was off to Vegas, while I was in charge of the kids, of which the youngest is 3 months old! Yikes!
Attempting an outing with all three kids!

Recently, I signed my son Scotty up for T-Ball. As my wife can tell you, I've been waiting for this since he was born. He just makes the age cut-off (Has to be 4 by April; turns 4 tomorrow), and he's the youngest on the team, but he's very excited about it. Hard to tell who's more excited between the two of us really. As baseball happens to be my favorite sport, and I am fortunate to be able to pretty much set my own schedule for work, I also agreed to coach. We've had a couple practices, a game, and an opening day parade at this point. All of which have been highly entertaining and - in the words of my assistant coach and childhood friend Jason Beck - "an absolute success!". I haven't had any experience coaching, but as I've heard from some of my older parent friends, coaching T-Ball is really more like herding cats than anything else. So far, that isn't all that far from the truth!  I've learned that being a T-Ball coach requires giving very simple, specific directions, and a lot of positive reinforcement!
Our first game was scheduled for Saturday at 8:30AM. Fortunately, Alison had arranged for a baby sister for the little one, and I was able to get out of the house a little early to get set up, and prepare some warm up activities for my players. The teams trickled in, and we got the game started. I put on my coach hat, and offered up my best advice to Scotty:
"Okay Scotty, what are you going to do after you hit the ball?"
"Run to first base?"
"You got it buddy!"

We were up to bat first and made it through the order without too much trouble. A lot of "Run! Run! Run!" shouts from the coaches, and tons of picture taking and cheering from the parents. It was great fun! It was pretty good comedy as well. The first kid up to bat on the other team hit the ball and ran straight up the middle to the pitchers mound! Poor kid was in tears when he realized his mistake! Cue the positive reinforcement! After the second inning, the other coach and I agreed to call the game a few minutes early because it was getting pretty hot, and the kids were starting to fade.

The rest of the day was pretty uneventful. Took the kids to my buddy Jeff's house to swim while we watched with a few cold brews. Then capped of the day with a evening BBQ with good friends Shelly and Joel at the beach club. I was even able to convince them to take Gabby for a sleepover! Day one down, and the kids are still happy and healthy. Success!

Sunday - Rolling Hills Little League Opening Day

Opening Day! Our league does a parade through town where the kids get to decorate the trucks, and ride in the back. It was great fun for them, and a chance for me to get some great pictures. My dad was very kind to come and keep an eye on the baby for me while I was in the parade with my team. The kids had a blast decorating, and even more fun riding down the street, cheering and waving. The league did an excellent job with the opening day celebration! There were bounce houses and games everywhere, and several food trucks. It was another scorcher, but it was nice to sit in the shade and let the kids run wild on the field...

Alison came home and we decided that even though we were both pretty tired, the day was just too nice not to share a few beers at the beach.

All in all, a great weekend. It was certainly no picnic juggling all the events and kid's needs, but somehow I managed. I always appreciate the job my wife does and try not to take any of the wonderful things she does for granted, but it's good to experience it personally once in awhile to remind myself just how hard she works and what an utter failure I would be in her role. I am extremely grateful for all the wonderful people and events in my life, and this weekend was an perfect example of that!