Sorry I’ve neglected the blog for the last couple weeks. Between business trips and a long weekend with the family, I haven’t been as diligent as originally planned. I’ll try to fix that now.
My eight year old had his last baseball game for the season last night. It was a heart-breaker of a game, with our team making a few minor errors and their team making a few lucky catches, which left us one run behind at the end of the game.
It was so sad when a bunch of the kids started crying at the loss. I was surprised at the tears, frankly. Not from one of our girls who is very emotional, or one of our most competitive kids who hates losing. But one of our more mature boys was in tears. And perhaps the biggest surprise is that my son didn’t get upset. He just took the loss in stride.
Anyhow, my favourite moment of the game came before the 12-year-old umpire shouted “Play ball!” to start the game. We were warming up with the kids before play started, and I had grabbed the bucket full of whiffle balls (the lightweight plastic ones) and was throwing practice pitches at kids in turn. One of the coaches from the other team came over and asked to take half the whiffle balls, which is fine, I was happy to share. But the way he worded it was shocking. He came over to where I was working with the kids and said:
Mom, I’m just going to grab half these balls.
Now, I had had a long day and was kind of tired, not to mention nervous for the team, so was perhaps a bit distracted, but pretty sure he had just called me “mom.” So I asked him:
What did you call me?
And yes, he repeated “mom.”
So I stared him down and said quite emphatically:
Call me “coach.”
I know it’s petty and childish of me, but just because I’m a woman doesn’t mean I am just a helpful parent. I am one of only three women coaching in Minor B in our little league, but I’ve done a great job keeping up with all the men and I know the kids — boys as well as girls — love having a woman coach too (my son tells me this regularly!). I’m not some jock (stop laughing — I could be a jock if I wanted to. Well, I could be sporty at least. It’s not THAT far-fetched!), and I wouldn’t dream of coaching soccer since I know nothing about how to play it. But I know baseball, and I’ve been coaching my kid for three years now. The men on my team treat me with respect as a coach, as do almost all the other coaches, umpires and league organizers I’ve run across.
So the other coach’s chauvinistic assumption just got on my nerves, and I told him off.
And okay, his team won, and we lost. But I didn’t cry.