April 11, 2012

Numbers ain't my thang

Even before there were such shows as Toddlers and Tiaras or Dance Moms Gone Wild, these people existed.  Oh yes they did.  I sat with them in the waiting room as our budding ballerinas learned plié and fifth position. The mommas jockeyed for their own position as Dance Mom of the Year.  I didn’t know such an honor existed, but I was certain that it did when the mommas bragged about the new dance bag they bedazzled and ooo’ed and awww’ed over their crocheted bun holder before glancing at the plastic grocery bag I was clutching that held a single lace-less tap shoe.  

When I found myself, as a backstage momma, telling a little dancer to just hold her groove thing still so I could curl her fake lashes, I knew we had to take a break, and we signed up for softball.

Softball mommas are not at all crazy like the dance moms.

I knew that I could drive my little slugger to the ball fields and she’d spend an hour catching balls or not catching balls – who can tell – and then I’d drive her home, check her for ticks and toss her in bed.

Until we moved up in the softball world, that’s pretty much the way the bat swung.

We’ve moved up, though.  Our oldest daughter now has to go through evaluations so she can be placed on a team.  I get it.  For the rest of her life, she’ll need to be evaluated for one thing or another and this might as well start at the softball fields.

Unfortunately, I didn’t know that my former Dance Momma self would show up.  I stood in line with my future-Olympic gold-medalist and ran down exactly what she should and shouldn’t be doing.  My sage advice included “smile at the coaches and don’t kick the ball.”  It’s not a moment I’m proud of.   My baby was way more concerned with making sure her bestie who played short stop last season was in her same evaluation group. 

See? You'd be confused too!
We finally got up to the table and the commissioner handed us her card, repeated her evaluation number that was printed on the card and told me to pin it on my player’s back.   

As I was pinning, I was still dishing out my best softball tips.  My daughter was still ignoring me.

Our daughter was out on the field and my husband and I were in the stands conducting our own tacky evaluation.  (He’s just as guilty because he was listening to me be tacky.)

“There are two sixes out there,” he mentioned as the girls sprinted from home to first.

“Two sixes?  Some poor momma must have put a nine on upside down,” I chuckled and rolled my eyes.  I glanced into the crowd and saw my little athlete about to make her run and gave her a thumbs up.  She got in batting position and when the coach gave her the go-ahead, she sprinted.

I watched her dash toward first.  I watched her evaluation card blow in against her back.  I blinked and saw the number six.  In my head, I heard the commissioner say, “She’s number 9.”

After evaluations, she ran up to me and said, “Momma, Coach David said I was supposed to be number 9.  You pinned it on upside down.”

“Number 9?” I questioned, “Well, maybe it’s not upside down.  Maybe your shirt's on inside out.”

See why we quit dance?  I’d have been devoured by those moms!


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