Monday, April 17, 2006

game 1: maccabees vs. tigers

S had his very first t-ball game today. He'd been looking forward to this "winning" game for weeks, even though at his age level, they don't officially keep score. It didn't matter, though, because at five, he and his teammates know enough about games to understand that someone usually wins and though the parents all tried to be politically correct about it, we all knew that if the rest of the season is as good as this game was, the Maccabees are going to have quite a year.

This game symbolized a lot of firsts for us:

1. S's first official entry into the world of competitive sports. (Okay, I'm ignoring the fact that since they aren't really keeping score, it can't really be all that competitive, but EVERYONE knew that the score was 11-2 by the time the Tigers dropped out of the game at the end of the second inning.)

2. B and I have officially become sports parents. We've never thought of ourselves this way, and to be honest, I've never even had the slightest interest in baseball until S started playing. But now I'm an avid fan. I'm practically a soccer mom. The next thing you know, I'll be driving a minivan.

3. I know this is only a game, but getting out there and playing this game was one of the most challenging things S has ever done. The kid has the most amazing imagination, and he's a terrific reader and does math problems in his head while he lies in bed. But until now, he's been bored by sports. And by t-ball. But today, S was a shining star. As the game went on, I saw him become totally composed and sure of himself. He played first base and was ruthless at tagging runners out--three in one inning (you're really going to have to ignore the fact that I don't know baseball lingo any better than I speak Swahili). He concentrated on the game in a way that I've never seen him concentrate on anything before. And he was really, really good at it. He was so proud of himself and at the end of the game, the coach gave him the MVP ball. I had to look away so I wouldn't cry. My boy...

I'm overwhelmingly proud. My kid is the MVP of the first game of the Maccabee season. His first game ever. And the other team parents seemed equally giddy cheering for their kids, though we all kept trying to remind them that we're not keeping score, and that everyone was a winner. But that felt a bit ridiculous, too. It is a game, and I do want him to play because it's fun and not always with the goal of being the best or the first. But sometimes... Sometimes it really is so fun to be the winner.

It's a good thing the coaches seem very mature about the whole thing. At the end of the game, our team shouted their good sport cheer--"8-6-4-2... We really liked playing you!" while the parents collectively groaned... It seems we're going to have a lot to learn here, too.

Monday, April 10, 2006

my sperm is faster than yours...

Understandably, there has been a lot of talk at our house about how the baby got into my belly and how the baby will get out. So, in need of a little support, I went to the bookstore and bought two seemingly benign books that talk about how the baby grows in the mother's womb and what it'll be like once the baby is born. B and I were relieved to find two pretty scientific sources that did not talk about sex, because we're much too chicken to deal with that yet. But there is so much talk about how the egg and sperm meet up and it's basically a matter of time before S puts two and two together and asks how that happens. Luckily for us, his competitive edge is apparently helping to stall that question because he's become obsessed with gender determination, about whether or not the boy or girl sperms are faster, and who will win this particular race.

This is what B overheard S saying at the playground when he was playing with J, a little girl on his t-ball team. They were both sitting at the top of a double slide and getting reading to race down.

"Let's pretend we're both sperm and we're racing to the egg. We can see which is faster, the boy sperm or the girl sperm!"

I wonder what J's mom will say to us when her five year old daughter comes home from t-ball practice and says she played sperm on the playground with S...