Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The only girl on the team

Today was Jennifer's first day playing baseball again. Last year, when I registered her to play, they put her into softball. I had to request that she be placed into baseball, as I had requested when I signed her up. This year, they did the same thing! Oy. Jennifer and I both think baseball is better than softball. As she said, "Softball is for sissies." (haha) Not to put down anyone playing softball (she actually has a couple of friends playing on softball teams), but we loves us some good ol' fashioned baseball. Put me in, coach!

But before she could even get to her first practice, there was a bit of a hurdle I had to get over. The practices were scheduled late in the day. I was worried the kids would be playing baseball in the dark! The practices actually end right around the time I put my children to bed. I was sending emails back and forth and making a phone call about this. I was just concerned about this being so late on a school night. Finally, today, I just decided, you know what? We will give it a shot. Let's see what happens. If it is indeed too dark at that time, if it is indeed late when I get the kids into bed after baseball practice, and see if we can just wing it. School will be out soon enough, after all. Let's just wait and see.

So, that's what we did. We loaded up into the car and went to baseball practice. I was nervous about going since, after all, I hadn't been feeling well today (I had a horrible episode of bad chest pain that nearly made me pass out last night and then again early this morning -- Jennifer was even crying and scared that I was dying!). I was also nervous about yet another round of meeting hearing parents, trying to communicate with them, and explaining that I am deaf, etc. But, we went. We still went. When we got there, the field was so dang soggy. I kept sinking into the ground. It had been raining so much during the day, I wasn't surprised the ground was so entrenched. (This had been another concern of mine. I was worried it might rain AGAIN and the practice might be canceled. The coach said that, unless there was a hurricane, the practice was still on! Now, see, this is what separates a true Oregonian from some wuss running away and screaming like a girl every time it rains.) I noted some of the moms wearing rain boots and made a mental note to A: Get rain boots and B: Wear them to baseball practices and baseball games after it's been raining all day.

I met one of the parents there, a dad with two sons on the team. I was nervous about talking with one of the parents but after I explained I am deaf and must read lips, he surprised me by saying he knew a little sign language. Enough to fingerspell things, anyway. HOORAY! This made me feel a little more comfortable in trying to communicate with one of the parents. It's so nice to meet somebody who knows sign language or who, at least, can fingerspell words.

I was watching the team and tried to see if there were other girls there. I couldn't see any so I asked the dad if there were any other girls. He looked through the team and shook his head. Nope. Jennifer was the only girl on the team. But he said there were no girls there "today." I guess maybe there will be a girl added to the team later on. Or maybe not. Really, we're ok with it. I was just curious. Jennifer is used to playing with boys (she IS a tomboy!) and the point is to just play baseball. Not have some kind of "gender war" going on in the team, or anything. I started to think if there are any movies or books Jen can read about baseball teams where there is just one girl on the team and issues to deal with, etc. I guess I was just too caught up remembering the movie I'd watched earlier in the day, where there was a military operation with just ONE girl in the unit and a lot of the guys treated her like crap and gave her a lot of crap to deal with. (And, no, it was not G.I. Jane. I haven't even seen that movie!) Hopefully, her being the odd girl out won't be an issue.

Well, this dad took pictures of the team members and said he could email me the pics. I gave him my email addy. (My digi cam is still packed. UGH! Can you believe we're still unpacking?? But we are getting close to FINALLY getting 100% settled into our new house. I would really, really like to find my camera, though. Oh, and my extra spatula!) The dad I spoke with also mentioned that he and his wife run a preschool, probably because of Jesse being with us, in his stroller. I had plans to enroll Jesse into Kim's school, actually, around the spring, but I wanted to check out their school all the same. I don't even know if Kim is still doing the preschool thing! (It's the one Jennifer went to.)

Even though it got VERY COLD (I was standing there, freezing my butt off!) and my allergies started up (oh, yay), we got through the practice. It was still daylight when we arrived and starting to get dark when it was over. It was not TOO dark, though. I was okay with it. The whole thing means Jennifer's bedtime gets compromised on a school night, but it is only for two days out of the week and maybe we will get used to it.

At least she'll get to play baseball. Batter up!


Rees said...

Hey Dawn! 'Twas my pleasure to snap some pix for you of your daughter. I must apologize I don't know more sign language. I took a class once, many years ago. Not that I knew any deaf friends, or even had kids yet that I wanted to introduce to sign language, but I just thought it would be a good thing. Since having children we taught basics to our kids when they were babies. We often sign the songs we sing at our preschool Dancing Sol. My wife is much better as signing, though not fluent by any means. It's just so beautiful to speak with hands, and to see people speaking with hands. Several years ago we went to an evening of deaf poetry. Even though I couldn't understand a quarter of the words, it was really great. Some of the poets allowed their work to be translated through headphones, but others didn't, so I got to just get what I could get. It was so fun.

Really glad you opted for baseball for Jennifer. Nothing against softball, but I love seeing girls playing sports that are often traditionally 'boy' sports. If I had a girl and she wanted to play baseball, we'd definitely be taking her.

It was great to meet you Dawn. My wife will be at practice tonight. I'll tell her to say "Hi!"

Dawn Colclasure said...

Hi, Rees! Thank you so much for posting a comment on my blog. :) It was very nice to meet you, too. I'm sorry, but I didn't identify which lady I said "hi" to yesterday was your wife. Hope I get to meet her soon! Yes, I agree. Sign language is a beautiful language. I wish I didn't have a left hand that is not a normal left hand, just so that I could use sign language to its fullest! But I have heard that there are some people who sign with just one hand. (!) It really is a great language. I know what you mean about baseball being a sport for "boys." If only this was not so, because I bet Jennifer is not the only girl who is interested in this sport! I know, we have softball, but it's just not the same. There shouldn't be a "boy sport" and "girl sport." Just a "sport"! Anyway, I checked out the site for the school. Maybe we can visit sometime.