Tuesday, October 14, 2014
If you want something done (at all), do it yourself
I am good at a whole bunch of things. I tell kick-ass customized bedtime stories. I am excellent at packing suitcases. I am talented at filling awkward silences (awkwardly). But I am no good at baseball.
There are a few reasons for this. Perhaps the biggest reason is: I'm legally blind. I don't know about you, but I feel like that suffices. I have little to no peripheral vision so the ball, when in motion, has a tendency to, you know, disappear.
Since I'm not a big fan of baseball, the fact that I highly suck at it doesn't perturb me. And since my kids have never showed the slightest interest in baseball (in fact, they've shown the opposite, as in "Ugh! Baseball? No! Why would I want to play with a ball when I can invent comic book characters and watch TV and concoct Dynasty-type dramas with my Barbie dolls???") I haven't given my ineptitude for baseball a second thought.
Then we went to my parents' place in New Jersey and they have a garage and in the garage is a box full of sports stuff, including several baseball mitts, a baseball and a toddler-sized bat.
"Does anyone want to hit this baseball with a bat?" I asked.
I'm not sure whether it was the fact that we were in Jersey and thus, suburb mode, or because I positioned it just the right way, but they all said, "Yes, sure, why not?"
And then I taught my kids how to play baseball. Sort of. Where did I get my expertise?
Well, about twenty five years ago, I watched Field of Dreams once.
The first obstacle was giving counsel about how to hold the bat and swing the bat and other bat-related details that I know less than nothing about. Then there was the problem of pitching the balls decently enough that they had half a chance to hit them. But they sort of got it - it's not rocket science, after all -- and they actually were not-bad at it, which DELIGHTED them. Then I suggested we play a "real" game of baseball (the great thing about kids is they don't know how little you know about stuff because they know even less about it) and I set up "bases" (that's what they're called, right?) and I explained the concept of running to bases.
And then my three kids and I played baseball. I was the pitcher, and the baby was the outfielder and that was our team. Seconda and Primo were batters. We didn't switch off since having the kids pitch and the baby bat would have been pure madness. I just tossed balls at them and the baby fetched the balls and they scored five hundred home runs.
"We're winning! We're winning!" Primo yelled, when the score was about 26-0.
"Yes," I said, "But please consider that you're playing against a blind woman and a BABY."
All in all it was a wickedly fun time and it's inspired me to force David to throw the ball around with the kids sometimes. He may know even less about baseball than I do, but he's at least not legally blind, and he's probably a touch better than a baby.