I wrote this earlier in the week. I never got around to publishing it. Since I'm still kind of bummed out and not quite up to writing today I'm posting it now. Yes, I'm still in "quiet mode." I've temporarily disappeared inside myself.
I barely had my foot in the door of PT yesterday when The Torturer asked, "Is it physical pain or what Dr. X said to you?" Whether I like to admit it or not, The Torturer knows me well. It takes him maybe three seconds to accurately appraise my mood.
I've decided I'm going to hop in my car and mosey up the coast this weekend all by lonesome. I think it's exactly what I need. I'm not sure where I'll wind up, but I've got a pretty good idea. My regular readers probably have a good idea too. I really appreciate all the support you've given me!
I'll be back on Monday. Maybe I'll even post a picture or two this weekend depending on where I find myself. I'm sure my spirits will be much better by the end of the weekend. There's nothing a little ocean time can't cure.
And now … back to my original post.
Southern California, and Orange County in particular, takes youth sports very seriously. In fact, let's just be honest, the area takes youth sports way too seriously. Maybe it's just another example of OC excess. Often sports here become more about the adults living vicariously through their kids than anything else. Every year we read more and more local articles about the increase in sport-related injuries for kids.
Also, there are a ton of over-zealous sports dads (and moms) around here.
A big factor in all of this is the nice weather we enjoy. If a child has the interest and ability to excel at a sport he/she will soon find sports aren't seasonal in Orange County. A kid can play almost any sport year round and if he/she is any good at it, he/she will be expected to play that sport year round.
When my kids were younger they tried a variety of activities. Both of my boys settled into baseball as their favorite. As a result, I've been to more games and tournaments and baseball events than even I can remember. The boys have loved playing and we've enjoyed the families we've met and been involved with over the years.
Except for the assholes, but I won't focus on them today.
Somehow, all of our baseball involvement led us to Angel's Stadium last Friday evening.
PR (13) played for a travel/club team last Fall and they were having a banquet for all their teams (ages 10-15) at the exclusive and upscale Angel's Diamond Club. There were several hundred people attending in total.
The Diamond Club is a restaurant located at Angel's Stadium. There are also Diamond Club stadium seats which are right behind home plate. Diamond Club seats, and the access they bring you to the Diamond Club restaurant, are primarily accessible to celebrities and the rich.
We've been fortunate enough to visit the Diamond Club on occasion through the generosity of friends. Last Friday night, however, there was no Angel's baseball game going on. The field and stadium were empty except for the organization we were with.
I've been involved with youth baseball for a lot of years, and even I was astounded at the idea of a youth baseball team getting an opportunity to have exclusive use of the Diamond Club for a team party.
Isn't that taking the whole youth sports thing a little far?
I guess that's where our exorbitant team fees went?
That being said, the boys (and parents) loved it. The boys were instructed to dress nicely. Ties were optional, button down shirts and nice pants (no jeans) were mandatory. To clarify, most of the boys wear shorts, t-shirts and flip flops to school every day. This event meant getting dressed up by California teen-boy standards.
Pro baseball players came and talked to the boys. A buffet dinner was served. The boys ran amok amongst the empty stadium seats. The parents drank too much while we sat around chatting.
Eventually all the boys with high academic achievements were acknowledged in front of the group. I thought it was a nice touch. Every player with a 3.5 grade point average, or higher, got a little plaque. (And yep, PR got one — yay!!) It was a nice way to remind the boys how important school is. Every one of the boys dreams of being a pro player someday and very few, if any, of them will accomplish that goal. As a parent, I appreciated the organization giving kudos to the kids who focus on academics too and not just baseball.
I thought the coaches would read off the name of every single kid on every single team. Surprisingly, they chose not to do this. Can I just say I was prepared to sleep right through that? I think there were a total of 11 teams there which meant approximately 165 kids. I imagine we would have been there all night if they had. Instead, each coach picked 3 boys from his team to receive an award for their baseball accomplishments.
PR was thrilled to be one of the three picked for his team. Can you imagine being 13 years old, standing behind home plate at Angel Stadium and receiving an award in front of several hundred people seated in the Diamond Club? PR received his award for being the top pitcher and top hitter on his team. I think it's something he will remember for the rest of his life.
Before you get too impressed, and not to belittle PR's accomplishment, can I just say the team was fairly crappy? I don't mean to make light of the award, but being the best on a team isn't as difficult if the team sucks.
I'm very proud of PR. Please don't send me an email and tell me I'm an awful mom. I am proud of my kid. I just want you to have a complete picture of what transpired. He got an award for being the best on a team that was average.
PR's coach gave a very nice little speech about PR and then he added, "And he accomplished all of this without being able to see the ball because he didn't get his glasses until after our last game." His statement brought a roar of laughter from everyone and PR blushed forty shades of red as he peered out (from behind his glasses) in awe at the crowd of people applauding for him.
He could actually see them!
© Twenty Four At Heart