I survived Kentucky softball season
Last night was my daughters’ last softball game of the season for Bate Middle School in Boyle County. An out of town game where the weather was hot and humid, I forgot to grab a chair in the two-seconds I had at home after work before running out again only to find there were no bleachers and I was forced to stand all night in my work clothes. On the way home after the game with the windows down and a breeze finally picking up, a silence settled over the car and I found myself turning to my daughter as I said, “I need a shirt that reads ‘I survived Kentucky softball season!’”
Don’t get me wrong, baseball is my favorite sport and there is nothing I enjoy more than watching my daughter play. However, when we were handed the list of games and their corresponding dates, I chocked on the air I was breathing wondering how in the world the school thought we could pull this off. Not only did she have practice at least three nights a week, but most of the time four games on the other weeknights as well.
Where I come from, we take sports seriously, but I quickly realized not as seriously as the South. Typically there are only two games a week on the West Coast, and once games begin practices are called off. How Kentucky, or rather Bate Middle School, thinks that parents can work 40 hours or more a week and then participate seven days a week in a sport is beyond me. Not only that, but all games were doubleheaders. When the coaches informed us of that, I must say I think I lost consciousness for a moment as the world began to spin and I realized how crazy the next few months would become.
I can’t imagine the parents who have their children in multiple sports at the same time. I witnessed a daughter on the team give her mother a hard time when she showed up 30 minutes late to the opening of one weeknight game. I silently cried for that mother, as I knew she was trying her hardest. And even if her daughter did not get it now, she would one day when she was thrown into the same world of trying to work and raise a family.
Truth be told, this softball season did not go without its fair share of complaints from me as well. Trying my best to keep them between my husband and myself, he looked me in the eyes several times and said, “They are just way more serious about their sports out here.”
I do side with my husband most of the time and believe sports are a good way to keep kids active and out of possible trouble as they get older. Sportsmanship is a great skill to learn, and all children I believe grow up the better for it.
However, there is something to be said for letting a kid be a kid. Maybe instead of full throttle and giving it all you got, a sense of balance should also be learned. That skill is something I find priceless, and typically the one skill missing from most peoples lives in the 21st Century.
With that being said, as I settle into a reality of free nights and open weekends, I plan to rest all I can until the next round of sporting events this fall. I am quickly realizing how dedicated the South is to their sports, and although I am a fan on many levels, I do enjoy the rest the offseason brings as well.
Brittany Fuller is the community editor of The Jessamine Journal and Jessamine Life magazine. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.