Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Nobody told me there'd be a trophy

T-ball season is behind us, and we kicked it out the door with a party at Steak n Shake Monday night. Hooray for our awesome team sponsor! (Give me a free chocolate shake, and I’ll cheer for you, too.) It was a really nice gesture by some really nice people, so I had no business being there. However, I have children now, and I keep the snark to myself even if I have to choke on it. The game face stays on, people, the face that says I put in real effort to get the grass/clay stains out of T-ball pants and I love to watch Oprah, too, yes I do.

I had the good fortune to sit across from a lady who made her two boys pray over their meal before digging in. Oh Lord, bless these thy chicken fingers, which we are about to baptize in ranch sauce in thy holy name. Amen. Further chatting revealed she home-schools them both, which would explain the bizarre quizzing of the older boy about the origin of the hamburger. I’m not sure what would explain her younger son’s name, Gunner. We had the inevitable conversation about my boys’ names and mispronunciation, wherein she complained that she has trouble with people not getting Gunner’s name right. Even her relatives want to call him Hunter, and she doesn’t understand why. That is really odd, I agreed. Maybe it’s because his name is Gunner, and “Gunner” belongs in the Future Felons of America, along with Shooter Wayne, Cash, Wesson, and Remington.* I did not say that but, oh boy, I thought it.

I cleared the Jesus-freak-home-schooler hurdle intact and turned my attention to the coaches for the trophy presentation. The assistant coach began his speech, but then sort of hunched over and covered his face. At first I thought he was having a heart attack, but it turned out he was weeping…from the emotion…of T-ball. To fill the uncomfortable silence while he composed himself, his wife whispered, “He’s very emotional. He really wears his heart on his sleeve.” That’s fine, I can handle a man who cries, but did YOUR team just suffer a historic loss in the European championship today? Did YOUR team go from World Champions to laughingstocks in the space of 90 minutes? No. Get a grip on yourself, man. If I can hold back the tears, SO CAN YOU.

On to the important part – Paolo got a trophy! With his name on it! And I can burn the white T-ball pants that tortured me so and marked Paolo as having a mom who doesn’t love him. We’ll also be hanging up the T-ball hat, since, as my father-in-law pointed out, anyone named VeryGermanLastName shouldn’t be walking around in a hat emblazoned with SS. That man cracks me up. We have the same sense of humor, and I never have to pretend with him. Although I guarantee he would have gotten those damn pants clean. Probably a closet Oprah watcher.

*I searched a couple baby name websites before it occurred to me to check my own hometown newspaper for birth announcements. In a single issue I found the above, along with some candidates for Future Pole-Dancers of America: Jazmyn, Jorja, Au’Bri, Swiston Shea, and Brooklyn Rain.

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