My 5-year-old plays baseball. Well, T-ball. Though they do a little bit of coach pitching every game. My husband is the assistant coach. My son’s plays on a team with his best friend. His friend’s dad is the coach. It’s a fun dynamic that had made the season extra fun for our boys. However, last week the coach and his family were out of town. That left us in charge.
My husband wasn’t alone on the field. There is a dad of another player who often volunteers to help and last week he was invaluable. But where the coach’s wife is usually in the dugout helping the kids figure out where to be and when, last week that job fell to me.
Being in a dugout with a team full of 5-year-olds is like being locked in a cage match you know you can’t win. These kids are precious and adorable, but they are just so many of them.
Once upon a time, I was a high school teacher. This, however, gave me a whole new respect for kindergarten teachers the world over. None of you are paid enough.
In the dugout, I had nine children from the team plus my 2-year-old. None of the kids exhibited behavioral out of the normal scope for kids their age, it was just a chaotic environment to begin with.
“Where’s my glove?”
“My drink is empty!”
“I can’t get my helmet on!”
“When is it my turn to bat?”
“How many more innings?”
It was everything that can send you over the edge during a family road trip, but you’re not related to most of the kids present.
So, if your kids play sports of any kind, at the end of the season, thank the volunteer coach, but also give a special shout out to the Team Mom. Or Team Dad. Whoever had the patience, kindness, and desire to run the bench.
This week, the coach’s wife will resume her position. Though I might just offer to help her out. That’s not a one person job. Or maybe just not a one ME job. Either way, it’s like a cage match. She needs someone she can tag in when things go haywire.
Team Mom is not for the faint of heart.