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Monday, April 28, 2014

There's No Crying in Baseball?

I realize that in the movie, A League of their Own, Tom Hanks made it very clear that there is no crying in baseball.  He was adamant about that.

But this is the thing. Last December I wrote about taking a boy to the ballet  And I found that when one takes a boy to the ballet it might not turn out exactly as one expects. I thought about that last week when I had a kind of odd girls night out. We didn't go to a wine bar or to the spa. We, four gals, went to a game - a Washington Nationals Major League baseball game. This is the first time I have been to a professional baseball game without a boy or four with me. And let me tell you something: if you take a gal to the game there is going to be lots of chatting, lots of giggling, lots of cheering and eating and drinking and yes, Tom Hanks, there could, perhaps, quite possibly, be just a little bit of crying in baseball.

When I go to a professional game with my husband and boys, they watch A couple of them score the game on those grid sheets in the programs or what have you. If they talk, it's usually about whether or not the pitcher is about to throw a fast ball or a change up or a curve. They might dissect a player's stance and his grip on the bat. And frankly, for me, with  the exception of a cute player here or there and some fun music in between innings, a professional ball game where none of my own flesh and blood children are taking the field can cause me to be slightly, um, shall we say . . . BORED OUT OF MY SKULL.

Exhibit A: Here is Kyle sitting next to me at the Nats game last year.

I'm not sure he was aware that I was sitting in the seat next to him. The kid did not miss a pitch.  And I do, I really do love me some baseball, but during a nine inning game, a girl might need to chat about some things. Like maybe her nail polish or perhaps the new Nats shirt she bought for the occasion.  It took a lot of effort to find the right combination - both sporty and ladylike - and no one seemed very interested in it.

So I knew from the get-go that if you take the gals to the game, things are going to be different.

There was group texting in earnest hours before game time to discuss what we should wear.There was much angst about the fact that it was windy and how that would affect decision making about hair styles. There were many topics discussed, including, in no particular order:

Wen Hair Products
There was much dismay that I had never heard of these products.  I have been properly informed.
This Facial Product
My sister told me about it and it's supposed to be really great and inexpensive.
CeraVe Cleansers and Moisturizers
Both my friend, Kristin and my friend, Sandy recommend this brand which makes my friends GENIUS BEAUTY EXPERTS because I just saw these listed in InStyle's Best Beauty Buys issue.  My friends are so crazy smart.
Neutrogena MoistureSmooth Color Stick
To be honest, I'm not sure we covered this, but we should have because I just got the Warm Caramel color and it makes me really happy.

There was talk about friendships and husbands. There was talk about children and work. A few of us had met through Kyle's Kamp so there was talk of pediatric cancer, of nurses, of medicines, of fundraising, of the many children fighting hard and of their parents gripping tight to hope. One of our little group lost her son to cancer, but she talked openly, as all mamas do, about her boy. She shared stories of many of his moments, some heartbreaking and difficult stories to be sure, but some silly and fun stories as well. And so, in the midst of drinking wine and chatting about families and beauty products, there was a little bit of crying in baseball. There were deep breaths and pauses and some of us choked back some tears.

And then it was the 8th inning and the Nationals were down by 2. And throngs of fans took off and left, giving up on the hometown team. But we, diehard fans that we were, decided it was time to watch the game.

So in the bottom of the ninth if you take some gals to the game, they might pay attention. And they might see that the Nationals have two men on with one out. And then one of them might get a text from her husband who is mighty impressed that four ladies are still at the park. And then the guy who we think should shave more often might get a base hit. And then one of us might decide it's time to call on Jesus.  And then some other guy whose name I can't remember might come up and hit in the winning run.

And then the gals might do the superfreak.

And then I might realize that Jesus definitely showed up at the ballpark and it wasn't because the hometown team won. I have heard the cynicism about praying before sporting events and the scoffing that God is too big to be bothered with trivial things like baseball games and girls nights out. But I think He is big enough to care about His people no matter where they are, no matter what they're doing. And I know He was there because these women were there. And HE gave me THEM.

If you take a gal to the game there might be a little crying in baseball. There might be shouting for joy and high fiving and laughing so much that you think you might pee. There might be love and gratefulness and a smile on a grieving mama's face. There might be Jesus in the ballpark.

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