Monday, May 03, 2010

Single Parent Time

My wife left us Saturday morning. That's right. She packed a bag the night before and, early Saturday morning, she split. We had a busy day planned and, fortunately, the weather was perfect for the outdoor activities lined up.

I got the kids dressed in their baseball uniforms and off to Central Park we went. My daughter's game was first and it was a blast. I coached first or third when they were batting and assisted coached them in the field when they were out there. My son spent the morning playing with the younger brothers of the players.

After the game we went home so my daughter could change, got lunch and headed back out for the afternoon game of the double header. My son's league is a bit less structured as the kids are, for the most part, incapable of hitting, catching and throwing the ball. My son can hit. He's upset that it's tee ball and he's been asking the coaches to pitch to him. They won't do it and, in this game in particular, it would have been impossible as the opposing team's coach decided the best way to win was to line all 20 or so players up, shoulder to shoulder, in a wall between the mound and the batter. They don't actually keep score so I'm not sure what the fuck this moron was thinking, other than he might get a nice youtube video of his team getting hurt. The first two kids hit the ball well and the opposing team dove all over the place, piling onto each other, trying to snare the ball. Of course, there's nobody covering the bases so getting the ball served only to stop the runner from advancing.

Up walks my son. He's twice as tall as all the other kids. He's smiling. He loves the game. I'm standing on the third base side, coaching the runners. I shout out to my son, telling him to relax, keep his eye on the ball until he makes contact, and then run.

I then realize that there's going to be serious shit if he does connect. I shout to the opposing coach. I ask him if, perhaps, he should give the hitters a bit of respect. His response? "Limit them to singles and the we can win."

I explain that they don't actually record outs in the game. I explain that he's putting his kids at risk by sticking them 4 feet in front of the hitters. He tells me that, since the kids all hit dribblers, there's no real risk.

Then my son smokes a ball thru his so call wall of defenders. They dive out of the way. They all hit the floor. The ball shoots towards second base. Nobody there but another opposing coach. It hits him in the thigh and caroms towards the back of the field.

I'm waving the kids home. My son comes trotting around the bases, all smiles.

I pat him on the ass as he saunters home.

The opposing team is in a pile, all of them trying to grab the ball that has rolled all the way to the back field, disrupting the other game that was being played.

The league representative jogs onto the field and tells the idiot coaching the other team that he can either play the kids in positions of sit two thirds of the team while they play the field.

The moron decides the benching will work better.

While in the field, my son is placed in front of the pitcher, with another boy. Between the two of them, not one ball makes it to the pitcher. Their throwing is fair, at best, but these two boys are hoovering up every ball that comes their way.

So, in the next inning, one of my son's teammates is on third and my son is getting ready to hit and this tall woman comes over and asks me where my son learned how to play. I explain that he played in another "league" in the fall and that we play whenever we can. She's asking all kinds of questions and then she leans down and starts talking the boy on third base. Turns out that's her son. She then suggests we get the kids together for a play date so my son can play baseball with him. I agree that it should be fine with my son. She then tells me how it's tough for her, being a single mom, not knowing about sports, not knowing what they should do now, to learn to play the various games that boys like to play. I tell her I understand and I tell her that my son is big on baseball and soccer and that he takes classes and plays in leagues for both and she's asking about details etc when my son smokes another shot into the outfield.

As he rounds third, trotting towards home, the woman high fives my son and asks if he wants to play with her son in the park after the game. He says yes and I explain that we have other plans and that my daughter is roaming the park with another friend and that we'd love to get the boys together when we weren't so busy.

She agrees and says we'll talk when the game is over.

The game plays on in the usual manner. Lots of hitting, running and shitty fielding.

Towards the end of the game, the mother of one of my son's friends walks over, cracking up. She tells me that the woman I was talking to thinks I'm single. I tell her that my wife left me just that morning and, technically, I am single. She tells me that the woman wants a play date with me. I asked why she didn't tell her that I'm married and she said "more fun this way."

When the game ended, my kids made a beeline for the playground and we ran into other friends so there was no chance for this woman to ask me out. Next weekend will be interesting.

Afterward, my son got into a fight with a 9 year old who kicked him in the balls. Seems the 9 year old was fucking with my son's friend and my son, being the friend that he is, defending his buddy and wound up in a fight.

I found this out later that night when my friend, who was there with those boys, called me to tell me what had happened (his son fessed up). Couldn't be prouder of my son.

Sunday, my kids let me sleep late and we got dressed, went out for brunch, went shopping for some clothes for my daughter and then hit Central Park for some rock climbing, Carousel riding, baseball playing and general fucking around.

Some time Sunday evening, the kids were fed, bathed, and the apartment cleaned (they did it themselves, no asking, no suggesting), my wife returned. She was greeted as if she was coming back from the garbage chute. The kids barely registered her absence or her return.

Now, with mother's day coming, I need to make sure we all do something really special for her because, at the moment, she thinks we can, and would, survive like champs, were she not around.

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