I am an overzealous sport’s enthusiast. No matter what sporting event I am in attendance, I find that I get wrapped up in the game and I cheer. When we go to Indians games, it does not matter if we are sitting behind home plate or in right field, I yell encouragement to the batter; I yell, “Charge” at the appropriate moment; I stand and belt out “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.” I do not just sit in the crowd. I am a fanatic bringing my positive mojo to my team.
It’s hard to contain myself at hockey games because of the fights. I love the fights. I love when the gloves drop, and they dance around the ice pulling on jerseys and taking swings. Once, Tom had gotten up to use the restroom at a Lumberjacks game right when a fight broke out. Without thinking, I turned to the woman next to me and started to pull on her arm. Almost immediately, I realized what I was doing. Uh-oh. She was about eighty.
“I am so sorry,” I apologized. I earnestly felt guilty for manhandling her.
She laughed. “That’s okay, Honey. I get excited, too.” When Tom returned to his seat, the woman leaned across me and said, “You have a firecracker, here.”
Tom just rolled his eyes when I told him the story.
I am probably at my best and at my worst at my own children’s softball games. I am that mom and I am not that mom. Let me explain. I yell and I cheer and I am probably the loudest person at the games, so much so, that at times my child will turn back to me and put her index finger up to her lips to warn me that maybe I need to take it down a notch. It’s hard, though. I get so excited when their teams play well– when someone scores or makes a good defensive play, I cannot hold back my enthusiasm.
However, I am not that mom because I cheer and only cheer. I never say anything scathing about the other team, although I cannot lie, “Hey Batta, Batta, Batta, Swing Batta. She cannot, she cannot, she cannot swing Batta,” goes through my head whenever the other team is at bat. I do not like parents who, when watching 7 and 8 year olds play, make it overly competitive and yell at their children when they make mistakes.
My children understand that I am enthusiastic, and when I get into the game, sometimes, I get a little out of control.
Carson started to play baseball at seven-years old. After the first game, on the way to the car, she said to me, “You know you’re really loud.”
“Does it upset you?” I asked.
We walked for a moment in silence. “You get really into it.”
She evaded my question. I let this process– screaming, “Go get’em, Baby!”; chanting “Purple Team” by myself; hooting and hollering for every hit.
“I try to cheer for everyone, you know.”
“I know,” she said.
“And you know I’m probably not going to stop being loud,” I needed to gage how embarrassed she really was. It truly would be difficult for me to contain myself at her games.
Resigned, but not upset, she said, “I know, Mom.”
This year, she is playing in a twelve-year old girls rec league. Unfortunately, her team has not been playing that well so far. Nevertheless, Carson has been focused as catcher, and she swings hard when she gets up to bat. The problem is that she has been striking out a great deal.
On Tuesday, she struck out three times in a row. I felt nervous for her because I know she puts pressure on herself. I was sitting behind the dug out. When she got up to put on her helmet, I yelled at her.
“Hey Carson?” She looked at me.
I raised my arms straight out, moved them fluidly over my head until my hands touched, and then pulled down my elbows until my hands were in front of my chest in a praying position. “One with the ball. One with the ball. One with the ball.” I repeated over and over again as I repeated the motion.
She scanned the crowd of parents and realized everyone was looking at me. She rolled her eyes, smirked, and put on her helmet.
When she got up to bat, she connected and the ball sailed toward center field. One of the parents looked over at me when she hit it.
“One with the ball,” I said excitedly. She laughed.
Carson beamed as she tagged first base.
After the game she politely said, “Mom, I don’t mind when you yell, but can you leave the Namaste mumbo-jumbo out of baseball?”
I couldn’t help but laugh, “I’ll try,” I promised. I did not give her a guarantee because I am that parent.