Thursday, June 19, 2014

Summertime souvenirs.

One of my favorite things about story time is the cuddling. It seems no matter how big my kids get, they can't listen to someone else read to them without sitting all over me. Even Liam, who never sits on my lap anymore, will do whatever it takes to somehow get on my person.

Yesterday he stretched his long, thin body out in front of me and rested his back and head on my bent legs. Meanwhile, Finn clambered up on what was left of my lap and for a second there I was the happiest / most squished and uncomfortable mom in the whole library.

Unfortunately, as soon as one of them moved an inch, I realized there was only ONE way for them to sit on me without pressing one of my many bruises and if they weren't in that exact position, I wanted to die. Every time one of them shifted their weight, I winced and gasped and swatted at them. Finally I had to kick them off and find a way to sit on the floor that didn't make my eyes tear up.

Why so many bruises, you ask? There have been plenty of normal, summertime injuries (go cart crash, bow and arrow incident, run in with a rogue Adirondack chair...) but I've also been a bit of a jock lately.

I joined a friend's work softball team because they needed more girls and I thought, "Sure, it's been 20 years since I played softball but I'm a girl every single day. This will be no problem!" Once we started practicing I felt perfectly at home. It seemed no one had played softball in 20 years. Or maybe ever! We were obviously in it for the fun of the game and not to win a trophy. This was my kind of team.

But there are still more ways to get hurt playing softball (even non-aggressive, just for fun softball) than there are, say, gardening or working on a laptop. In one practice alone I caught two balls with my leg. And not a soft, fatty part of my leg. My shinbone! It is gloriously bruised, knee to ankle, and still hurts like a mother even though it happened two weeks ago.

Monday night was our first game. Two games actually! A double header. I think I can speak for the team when I say we were pretty excited. We had new shirts (t-shirts, my nemesis...) and were feeling as ready as a mixed-bag of "athletes" could possibly get.

And then the other team showed up.

Do you remember that movie Old School where Will Ferrell and Vince Vaughn start a fraternity? All the other frat houses are filled with young guys in college (obviously) while theirs is a motley crew of random dudes who are mostly way too old to be hanging around college kids.

That's exactly how it felt.

This other team showed up and we honestly thought they might be at the wrong field. The college co-ed league probably played somewhere else, right? This field was for misfits. People who work together and wear matching shirts but otherwise have nothing in common. You can't ALL be 25 and fit and tan AND be good at softball. That's just crazy.

But that's what they were and they kicked our butts. It was one of those games that was not even fun. Like, I'm sure they thought they were coming out to get a workout or a challenge or something, but instead they got us. And we got killed.

Pretty rough for our first game. Especially since we had to play another one right away. The wind was definitely out of our sails and we were...tired. Like, physically worn out from getting our asses handed to us.

But what could we do? The other team showed up and they were ready to play. They were also a much better representation of what a work team should look like. There was the old guy who was brimming with positivity. The guy from Nepal (who was fit and young but didn't exactly understand the rules). And the girl who was obviously there just to get another girl's name on the roster.

Things were looking up!

As soon as the game started, we got on a roll. In fact, we got so many runs in one inning, they had to call it (the rules in this league are weird...kind of seems like they make them up as they go along). I was getting some hits, playing 2nd base and just generally feeling like I might not be so bad at sports after all.

Meanwhile, Bill and the boys were running around chasing fireflies on the sidelines, cheering me on and making me wish we had games every night of the week.

And then, I almost got killed.

I can't remember exactly what happened (I was too busy watching my life flash before my eyes) but I know there was a play at 2nd, a base runner who was totally prepared to run THROUGH me if he had to and a slight chickening out on my part. Afterward I looked around like, "OMG, you guys, did you see that?! I almost died! For softball!" I thought my heart might pound right out of my chest.

But the game must go on. And wouldn't you know it, the very next play involved Mr. Agro and 2nd base. MY base. Only this time, I stood my ground. And do you know what happened? HE STOOD ON ME.

Seriously! The dude stomped on my leg. Which, how is that even possible?! I almost wouldn't believe it if it wasn't for the bruise, the cleat scrapes (above my ankle bone!) and the picture that Bill happened to catch from the sidelines.

How crazy is that?! Fortunately I survived without being permanently marred. I don't even have a limp! And the best part? I got him out. Winning the game was just gravy.

Maybe I do like a trophy once in a while.

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