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Thursday, August 29, 2013

You're Killing Me, Smalls!


Can you guess how many times this phrase has been used in my house this summer?

You're off by about 500.

Drew's nickname has become "Smalls".  His brothers rarely use his real name lately.  And as the summer winds down and we find ourselves spending A LOT of quality time together, even his very own mother might have yelled out, "YOU'RE KILLING ME, SMALLS!" more than a few times.  I use it for all three of them though. 

(Trust me.  There are some other phrases that have come to mind in this last week of summer.  This one is the most appropriate.  Promise.)

If you're confused, we got the phrase from THIS MOVIE, which by the way, we have watched about 617 times - not all that surprising since I'm not sure there is a baseball movie out there that we cannot recite word for word.

So last night while I was waiting for Drew's baseball practice to end, I was thinking about all the great baseball movies there are out there and I started making a list.  And now I'm blogging my list for you, dear readers - or singular reader, as the case may be. 

See, sometimes I feel like I have important, deep, insightful things to share about motherhood, but most times raising children confuses the heck outta me.  For example if it rained ALL.DAY.LONG on one of the last days of summer and the "Smalls" all started arguing and everyone was starving and basketballs started bouncing and bats started swinging in the house and I stood around with absolutely no control of my surroundings.

Listen, the Lord gives us many spiritual gifts.  Yesterday my spiritual gift allotment seemed a bit low.  But then I thought that perhaps my expertise in the baseball movie genre was given me by the Lord.  And the Lord was saying, "Just push that button on the DVD player and SHUT.IT.DOWN, lady.  Then go forth and share the good news with my people."

You feelin' me, mamas?  Ok, then.  Here are (some of) our favorite baseball movies.  Feel free to spread the good news as well:

Here's how describes it:  A widowed lawyer wanted by the IRS assumes a new identity and signs his now-too-old son up for one more year of Little League. However, this may have been a mistake, as his son's dominance captures the media's attention as his team careens toward the Little League World Series.  This is what you need to know: It was written by John Grisham and stars the absolutely charming and adorable Harry Connick, Jr. We have watched this movie over and over.  We love it,  especially after spending so much time watching the Little League World Series this summer.  And, did I mention Harry Connick Jr.?

My favorite for kids of all ages.  An adorable story of a boy in the 20s whose father is a janitor at Yankee stadium.  When Babe Ruth's lucky bat goes missing, the father is blamed, but the boy figures out who the real thief is and goes across the country with a talking baseball named Screwy to clear his dad's name and help the Babe get his swing back.  Bonus:  THIS song about wanting to play catch with your dad makes me sob.

In the 1960s, a shy kid named Scott Smalls moves into a new neighborhood and joins a gang of boys spending their summer playing ball in The Sandlot.  This movie has some of the best 10-12 year old boy smack talk ever uttered in the history of the world including, "If my dog was as ugly as you, I'd shave his butt and tell him to walk backwards."  Just a friendly warning here:  be sure to tell your kids that even though mommy laughed really hard, she will not laugh if the teacher calls with the news that little Johnny called little Billy a pee-drinking crap-face on the playground.

A 12 year old boy becomes the owner of the Minnesota Twins when his grandfather dies and leaves the team to him.  Best part:  The trick play the boy teaches the major leaguers is hilarious.  Very cute kid playing the main character and very cute movie.

A boy living in foster care prays to have a real family if the California Angels win the pennant.  Heavenly (and funny) angels come down to help both the team and the boy.  Note:  This movie was shown on the plane as Steve and I flew to Hawaii on our honeymoon.  I should have known that my life with him would involve lots of baseball.  But then again, on the way back from Hawaii, it was that movie where Bridget Fonda wins the lottery.  I've never bought a lottery ticket in my life, but maybe I should.

A 12 year old boy breaks his arm playing baseball and when it heals he suddenly can throw like a Major League pitcher.

ALL OF THE KEVIN COSTNER BASEBALL MOVIES (perhaps not all of them kid appropriate)
Bull Durham, Field of Dreams and For the Love of the Game
I know it is so unhip and totally 40ish year old woman to have a crush on Kevin Costner, but y'all.  Come on.   Favorite Line from For the Love of the Game:  When Kevin Costner's character mangles his pitching hand in a chainsaw accident, his girlfriend Kelly Preston is having trouble getting any of the ER doctors to attend to him. She stands in the middle of the ER in her blood splattered pjs and screams, "Is this not America? Is BASEBALL not America's favorite pastime?!"

The story of Jackie Robinson.  Wonderful, exciting, heartbreaking, important.  You will need to discuss the "n" word with your children.  Gratefully, a couple of mine had never even heard the word, but I can tell you that each time it is uttered in the movie, I felt my stomach turn.  Note:  If you see it with your 14 year old son try not to cry too much or to whisper/yell out too loud, "Come on, Jackie, take the base.  Take the base, Jackie", like you are actually at the baseball game.  Because your son will look at you like you are so embarrassing and whisper, "Mom, it's Jackie Robinson.  Everyone knows he's going to steal the base. SHHHH."

There are so many more including The Rookie, Air Bud: Seventh Inning Fetch, Major League, The Final Season, A League of their Own, Chasing 3000, Fever Pitch(co-starring my college buddy, Johnny Sneed - Hook 'Em Johnny.), Eight Men Out, 61 and many that I'm forgetting. 

But, I gotta go.  The people are waking up and I have planned a trip to the library today because I love reading more than baseball movies.  There are exactly four more days until school starts.  I know.  I'm an overachiever and totally ahead of the game on the summer reading.  So today if you happen to be at our beautiful, new, spacious library, I hope you will be like me and hear the angels sing as soon as you walk in there.  But, just be warned that at least one of my kids will act like I have just shoved him into the middle of a POW Camp in World War II when we walk into the library.  And then you will hear my voice whisper/yelling,



Nadia Temple said...

Hello! This is Nadia, Jill's friend in Los Gatos, CA. My son plays ball with Daniel. Loved hearing your voice through your blog. Baseball junkies ourselves--My favorites are Field of Dreams and A League of Their Own--but here's one more for your list--"The Natural" with Robert Redford! Anyway, loved that you mentioned the Lord and His influence in your life! God bless you and your family!

Jenn said...

Hi, Nadia. Of course, The Natural! How could I forget?! Thanks so much for reading and commenting. Also, please give my nephew a high five and my sister a hug!
Blessings to you.