I Thank God Every Day That My Kids Are Slow and Untalented

If Reese Witherspoon can't pay someone to take her kids to their extracurricular crap, the rest of us are doomed.

I have to give credit where credit is due: my sister-in-law (completely by herself) started a special needs baseball team in our town and so far has gotten three major corporations to pledge tax-break donations in the amount of about $40,000, gotten two restaurants to agree to feed all the players, volunteers, and family members, and found about 83 people who are willing to donate one or both of their kidneys. No one playing in this league actually needs a kidney at the moment, but now there are several on stand-by just in case.

Then she admitted the truth to me. All of this hard work and dedication was done just so my autistic daughter could play baseball. More correctly, she looked around at the last family reunion and realized that I’m the only human parent in the tri-state area who has not had to sit at a baseball park at least five days a week from April through August (seven days a week if you’re lucky enough to have more than one child playing baseball), and she set about remedying that situation.

Thankfully, if you play on one of the two special needs teams you only play four games, you don’t have practices, there’s no score keeping, and the ratio of volunteers to players is about four to one. There were seriously 48 people on the field this morning. I counted. There were 18 players on the two teams, four photographers from various news outlets, a smattering of umpires to keep things moving, and the rest were the “buddies” whose jobs it was to make sure no one a) passed out b) got hit in the face with the ball c) plopped down in the dirt and made dirt angels or d) actually went to the bathroom while still on the field.

Yes, it was precious. Even when six of the players burst into tears because they were bored and their socks were too tight and they had no idea why they had to keep standing there. Before you judge me too harshly, I should tell you where I got that information. My daughter was one of the criers and she told me she was bored and her socks were too tight and she didn’t know why she had to keep standing there.

Some days, it’s really hard to think, “Wow, I’m so lucky that my kid is autistic and everyone else’s kids are normal.” I have to make myself smile about it sometimes. Then, as I pack up my cooler after a thirty minute “baseball game” and head home, I look around at the hundreds of children whose families have literally set up tents and generators to power their appliances at the ball fields and I think, “I am the luckiest parent ALIVE.”

11 thoughts on “I Thank God Every Day That My Kids Are Slow and Untalented

  1. Oh whiney baseball parents! HA! At least the games are over in a measly 3 hrs. A full swim meet has 132 events! If your child is a champ you can drive for hrs, ( lets see, it was 197 miles for the water polo match and 338 miles to the state finals one year)–and THEN spend 6 hrs watching events. You carefully watch for your child since each event lasts about 4 minutes and you don’t dare miss it……….

    • Of course it counts! (said the triathlete a little too strongly!) In fact, we’re hosting the women’s pro team at our house this coming weekend for the USA cycling criterium in our town. Very exciting!

    • That’s okay. That’s what all the parents were doing during the game! In the good way, people, not like we were laughing AT our kids. Well, we kinda were, but that’s because most of the kids would bat the ball off the tee then go run and pick it up!

  2. Baseball is not so big here in Australia. We have cricket instead. This consists of spending all day standing in the sweltering sun, both days of the weekend. I have not yet figured out why we play this sport in summer and all the players wear long sleeves and pants (the uniform pred-dates the skin cancer awareness thing). Surely it would make more sense to play this game in Australian winter and English summer when, you know, the weather is more or less the same in both locations?

    Apparently not…. and what would I know, I’m just a woman?

    But we have already resolved that cricket is not allowed in this house. Our children can play soccer, or football, or netball, or something with two 20 minute halves. Or, they can even take after their mother and firmly believe reading is an Olympic sport, and I will die a happy woman.

    • I would totally take gold at Olympic reading. I can smoke any sport that involves sitting down! Except for the actual sports like rowing in which you somehow sit down but still manage to try to kill yourself with exertion.

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