Jude has started his new baseball season, and damn if he didn't get put on a team where we don't know a SOUL. Which I must say makes him far less interested. He's always been a little iffy about baseball anyway. And not having any friends there to hang out with, makes getting him there an effort. He always wants to sign up, and when he's actually there, he puts forth a decent amount of effort, but away from the field, he has zero enthusiasm.
Which is, of course, the reason he's not really very good. He needs to be practicing, but just has no interest. Jimmy and I keep making him go outside and "throw the ball around", but it's a real effort. And I should absolutely be making him go to the batting cages, but I don't seem to get that together.
I did find one thing about baseball that has piqued his interest. His very first cup...
I got something for you today.
(handing him the little package from the sporting goods store)
It's an athletic cup.
You wear it inside your underwear to protect your penis from getting
hit by a baseball.
The child then dissolves into hysterical laughter. Gretchen also laughs.
After much silliness and penis humor is exchanged between them, Gretchen explains that the coach has emailed all the parents to make sure that the boys have cups. And that most of his friends already have been wearing them, an oversight which Gretchen feels a little guilty about. Gretchen then, despite a ridiculous amount of modesty on the part of the boy, helps him fit the little plastic cup into it's place in the "performance cotton briefs" which came in the package.
Jude then collapses on the floor in horror and laughter.
I can't wear this!! It makes me look like I have
a GIANT wiener!!!
It's just TOO embarrassing!!
No, here's what would be embarrassing. Me having to write the
following note - 'Dear Sister Maureen, Jude is unable to come to
school today because he has had a terrible penis injury. He will be
able to return to school after his penis has healed.' THAT would
Much laughter and silliness follows.
Now, of course, he's kind of fascinated with the thing. All through baseball practice he kept touching it and arranging his stuff.
This new baseball team full of strangers poses another obstacle - I am faced with a new batch of team mommies who I don't know. So I have to navigate that, and find my place. I usually like to just volunteer as Team Mom and then everybody kind of finds and befriends me, as opposed to my having to find and befriend them. But this year the wife of the Head Coach has appointed herself Team Mom, and I'm forced to actually be sociable.
Now, I've finally gotten fairly comfortable with the mommies from Jude's school, most of whom are young and fit and slim and incredibly well-dressed/coiffed/manicured. These ladies go to the tennis club and wear their Tory Burch flats and vacation in Palm Springs. They regularly come to school wearing cute short tennis skirts showing their gorgeous long, tanned legs. Around them I feel incredibly old and shabby and decidedly inadequate. They are an intimidatingly lovely group of women. But I have come to love many of them, even if some of them don't quite know what to make of me - I think having had an acting career kind of adds a bit of faded glamour.
But this new group of baseball mommies has me thrown. They are a whole nother breed. I just don't know how to relate. Their boys all attend terribly progressive and expensive private schools, and the women that come to practices seem to fall into two groups - Nannies and Serious Moms.
The nannies all sit together and speak to each other in Spanish. Occasionally one of them will shout something encouraging ("Go, Owen!" or "Go, Josh!"), but otherwise, they ignore the kids and chitty chat. I have tried sitting with them, and we smile and nod a lot, but I seem to make them uncomfortable.
That leaves me with the...Serious Moms. These women all have the same look - what I think of as "Yankee lesbian". No makeup, practical short haircuts peppered with uncolored gray, Birkenstocks, loose-fitting sensible clothes. They sit together, intently watching their sons play ball, coaching their boys from the sidelines, telling the coaches what to do and passing around various sections of the New York Times. I kid you not.
At Saturday's practice, I was sitting by myself, wearing a shirt which displayed my usual inappropriate amount of cleavage and gorging myself on the last of the Hunger Games books. One of the women, turned to me as she was tucking away her New York Times and asked "What are you reading?" I swallowed my humiliation and admitted I was reading a book from a young adult trilogy of mediocre writing quality. She kind of stared blankly and told me she'd never heard of it. NEVER HEARD OF IT. "Well...they've made a movie of the first one. It's about to come out. You've probably seen the ads." "Oh. We don't watch tv." she said. Oh yes she did.
I miss my pretty tennis mommies. What do they say? The devil you know...