And so it begins. My daughter is playing 6-and-under coach-pitch softball for G.O.R.C. and my husband is the coach. They will spend this precious time together forming a father-daughter bond that will last a lifetime. They'll see the best and worst of each other. They'll experience the thrill of victory, or in this team's case, the agony of defeat. And me? I'll be doing my best to not turn into one of "those parents" at the games.
You know the ones I mean. Those parents that take the games way too seriously. The parents that forget these are just little kids having fun. The parents that forget the games are about teaching sportsmanship and teamwork. I'm hopelessly competitive and a perfectionist which is why my husband is coaching and I'm not. He is full of patience and a love of the game. While I seriously can't handle the fact that these girls can't even step on a base to get an out because they're too busy celebrating the fact that they stopped the ball from rolling. It's painful.
I've never been much of a team player when it comes to sports. I swam all the way through high school so unless it was a relay, I only had to worry about myself. Let's just say that I know myself enough to let my friends play on the dirt while I took to the water. And I started to see signs in my daughter that she may be a more of a "personal sport " player than a team player. But she has a natural talent for softball (she broke our neighbor's window with a plastic ball and bat!) and when we suggested that Dad would coach, she agreed to play. And while she may grumble about having to go to practice or a game, she has fun once she gets there.
So I'll go to as many games as I can (my three-year-old is worthless after 6 p.m. so night games are hard) and do my best to cheer through gritted teeth as yet another girl stands in place rather than run after she gets a hit. It's a game after all. It supposed to be fun. At least that's what I hear.