My FIL came down from MA last weekend. He tries to come once in the Fall and once in the Spring to watch the boys play sports.
He is one of those guys who is set in his ways. The way he did it when he was raising kids is the only way to do it. So of course I know that every time he comes down, I’ll get some sort of comment(s) about what the boys should or shouldn’t be doing in the world of sports.
Before I go any further, I want to note that most of what he says is kind and encouraging. But it’s those little comments that really dig into me, like a noogie on the head (which he
forcefully lovingly introduced to both of my kids this weekend).
So, this weekend started out with two baseball games on Friday night. I was at D-Man’s game while hubs and FIL were at Mr. A’s game. When we met up after the games, he commented that Mr. A’s team “needs to step it up.” Okay, then. Thanks.
On the way to dinner, he proceeded to lecture us about why we should NOT get our kids involved in travel sports. (A former cop, my FIL is a big fan of the local town leagues.)
Mind your own business, Papa Thank you for the suggestion, Papa, but as we are about to head into our first stint of travel baseball this summer, we will not be taking your advice.
The next day, we went to Mr. A’s soccer game. About half way through the game, FIL asked, “Am I a bad luck charm or what?” In other words, “Every time I watch Mr. A play soccer, he plays like shit.” He may have played like a comatose zombie for half the game, but he had a few moments of greatness (see pic).
Then as we were headed to the car, FIL said to hubs, “Mr. A should be a Linebacker.” In other words, “He sucks at soccer and should play football instead.” My response was the same response I give him every time he suggests my skinny little 9-year old get into football, “Dream on, dude. That’s not gonna happen.”
Later that day, we headed to D-man’s baseball game. The league changed the field last minute, so when we showed up, only a small fraction of our team was there. Everybody else was at the other field – the wrong field – waiting for the game to start (DOH). So, there was a bit of waiting around.
Sensing his frustration, I went over to FIL and explained to him what was going on and why the game wasn’t starting. His response was an unenthused, “Uh huh.” His tone and body language told me that what he really meant to say was “This league doesn’t’ have their shit together. When I was coaching little league this kind of crap never happened.” I know that seems like a lot to infer from those two little words. But trust me, I know of where I speak.
The visit wasn’t all bad. In fact, it wasn’t bad at all. Those annoying little snippets aside, we had an enjoyable time. After the games, we went to the diner for some crappy, greasy food, then treated the indigestion with some soft serve ice cream. We came home, watched the Celtics on TV and played a little chess and candy land (well, he watched the Celtics and hubs and I played chess and candy land with the kids). The next day, we sat in the back yard (between all our sporting events) and enjoyed the beautiful weather.
At 3:00, FIL left. As he was leaving, he paid both boys a compliment: “D-Man, you have gotten so much better at baseball. Mr. A, that’s because he’s been watching you play!”
So, like I said, not all negative. But 24 hours with the man is plenty. It’s just enough to drive me to drink – and drink I did!
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