My daughter's fastpitch team won a tournament last weekend, but the journey to get there was not pretty. All the parents were hysterical nail-biting alcoholics. I somehow morphed into the psychotic cheerleading captain. I found myself yelling, "Okay Parks - make her swing the bat! Blow it by her! Shut her DOWN now!"
Keep in mind the parents of the little 10-year-old batter were sitting on the bleachers next to me while I instruct our pitcher to shut their sweet little bundle of joy down.
Who cares, we had a game to win! I would have painted my face into a fucking White Bear Polar Bear if the opportunity presented itself.
After a couple of games, the parents were ready to share cardiac arrest paddles due to heart palpitations. I swear to God, I had chest pains during one particular inning where a few errors were made. I was ready to watch this game from a stretcher if needed. Christ.
I was yelling, "IT'S OKAY (fuck)! DON'T WORRY ABOUT IT (shit shit shit)! IT'S JUST A GAME (the biggest game of your fucking life)!"
As parents, we came to our senses and realized we needed some beer, bloodies and gin & tonics to calm our nerves. I was ready to start smoking or convulsing to relieve my exposed nerves. After two gallons of Shock Tops, I was ready to be a good, calm little fan. I had my shit together again.
It didn't work. I was worse. When my daughter struck out by watching a strike sail right by her I yelled, "Say WHAT??!! That was perfect!" She turned to me from the fucking batter's box and yelled, "MOM - GOD!"
This required damage control. And self-awareness. And an apology. I stumbled over there with my Shock Top breath and said, "Hey, I'm sorry. I could never do what you're doing out there. I am so out-of-control-crazy-excited, but I will keep a lid on it."
She said, "Yeah. That would be good."
And wasn't that the reason for my insanity? I never could do what any of those girls were doing out there. I was the bookworm, theatre geek in school. I don't have athletic DNA in my body. I don't even own thigh muscles. In fact, and I'm not kidding here, I just pulled a fucking neck muscle while typing this blog.
So I admit it, I was living vicariously through them in complete and total awe. Like a parasite, I dug in and extracted as much of the experience as I could get. I'm not proud of it. Just being honest.
I was honored they allowed me to be a part of their journey to becoming champions (even though they probably would fire me as a fan if they could). I am past my prime and honestly, I never even had a prime, so it's beautiful and fascinating and cool to watch and see how it all happens. That energy of being Top Dog was exhilarating - and I was only feeling the aftershocks of what the actual Top Dogs were feeling. I'm only the mother of a Top Dog.
Although most of the girls on the team had no idea they even won a game. A few of them went up to the coach after one particular shellacking and asked, "That was fun! Did we win?"
Maybe they really are oblivious to the crazed parental hysterics that ensue on the bleachers.
As my daughter would say, "Yeah. That would be good." We have State next weekend, so I'm going to need to learn breathing techniques, buy a muzzle, and take some anti-psychotics in order to maintain a cool, breezy appearance.