A friend of mine used to have a novelty Tshirt with a great saying on it. “We interrupt this marriage for the softball season.” Of course, this could be modified into just about anything for parents who sacrifice a lot for their kids playing days. But, it’s that time of year again where everyone gets ultra busy with the softball season and it’s a never ending parade of tournaments, games and practices.
My season officially got underway 3 weeks ago, just outside of Las Vegas. I had the following weekend off for Mother’s Day, then was right back at it this past weekend. I won’t have another weekend off until after Labor Day. So, for those of you who are parents that feel like life has running in fastforward, let me tell you about a typical week for me… maybe then you won’t feel so bad.
Softball will be on the schedule EVERY night of the week. Mondays/Wednesdays is the women’s fastpitch league where Trine (my wife) will be playing here in Erie. Tuesday/Thursdays is the nights for the Men’s Fastpitch league where I’ll be playing here in Erie. Then, every Friday morning/afternoon I will head to the airport where I will board a plane for a weekend tournament. Fly out Friday, play games over the weekend days and sprint to the airport from the ballpark on Sunday night to catch my flight home. Sometimes, if games run late… I don’t make the Sunday flight home. This means an extra night in the lovely city that I’m in and a flight first thing Monday morning. Then, it’s right back to the ballpark on Monday night for games.
I fly out nearly every weekend, sometimes it’s simply across the state to Philadelphia. Sometimes, it’s across the country to Portland Oregon. Sometimes, it’s across the world to Europe, I’m supposed to pitch in Amsterdam Netherlands over the first weekend of June and fly back 3 days later. So, as I’m sure you can imagine, with a schedule like this, by July 4th… I’m doing daily raindances in hopes of getting a night off.
All the while, I do softball pitching lessons during the daytime as kids are out of school. Daytime lessons work well because most of the kids have rec league games or something like that during the evenings. So, if they want lessons…daytime is it.
Somewhere in all of this, I have to make time for Alex where we play on the swings, go to the zoo and throw peanuts at the elephants, etc. Then is the whole separate issue of trying to keep life at home stable while constantly at ballparks and in airports. It’s not always easy. In fact, it never is. Whenever possible, my family will travel with me to tournaments, depending on where we’re playing and if there’s anything to do in the area. If my games are in North Dakota, she won’t go. If it’s in New York City… she comes. It’s not about supporting my games, it’s about shopping.
So, just think of me sometime when you’re driving home from a weekend tournament and you KNOW you’re going to sleep in your own bed on Sunday night after a weekend of games… I could be stuck in an airport somewhere trying to make it home for the next night’s games!!