The Writing Mamas Daily Blog

Each day on the Writing Mamas Daily Blog, a different member will write about mothering.

If you're a mom then you've said these words, you've made these observations and you've lived these situations - 24/7.

And for that, you are a goddess.

Saturday, May 03, 2008



You’re the mother of a gap-toothed, tow-headed, nine-year-old boy and you’ve been trying to pull this off. You realize there’s something un-Good-Mother-like, even un-American about you. But here’s your secret confession:

You hate baseball.

It wasn’t so bad in the T-ball years, those clueless little five-year-olds in baseball gear; the sheer novelty of it all in the low expectations. The ball set lovingly on the T-ball stand that the miniature players hacked away at. It was all so cute. Then the next year, you knew what to expect, how to not get snookered into bringing a dozen balloons for Opening Day Parade, wrestling them into your car -- only to get rained out. The following week you’d repeat the whole ordeal and eighty dollars later, you’d made your contribution to baseball.

A veteran now, you know how to elbow in and grab that sign-up sheet, scribble down your contribution of a dozen donuts.


Even still, four years later, something is rising up in you -- rebelling against the prospect of another season. You try to give yourself a break. It’s spring, the beach beckons and by now, you’ve been a sport spectator every Saturday since last fall. Soccer, floor hockey, indoor soccer; all keeping you bench-bound, often in freezing gyms with those other mothers who actually know the game-rules, and who appear to be interested.

You never played a single team sport as a kid. Your mother never sat on a bench to watch you do anything. Instead, she mostly sat on the couch and read, soundlessly turning pages and munching on a bowl of crackers. Occasionally, you or your sisters would make a bid for her attention, trying for conversation. She’d blink, like she couldn’t quite place you. She tried to look interested as she thrummed her fingers on the pages of her book, which lay open, calling her back. She licked the salt from her fingers, nodded, put another Wheat Thin on her tongue and sipped Tab, her Holy Communion.

You gave up and read beside her.

Somehow, your son has found his way into a little pack of five sports-minded boys. They are inseparable, playing together every recess and weekend. At first, when Sam was invited to join the group’s teams, you were all for it, hoping to save him from your childhood fate of being the shy, odd, teacher’s pet. Gradually, you realized the mothers had their sons in not one, but three simultaneous after-school activities. Football, gymnastics, chess, newspaper, math mania. The sheer logistics overwhelmed you. Not to mention the various articles of uniforms that needed to be purchased, washed, remembered. Or the making of team shirts, banners, coach’s gifts, engraved trophies, end-of-season parties. You wanted to go back to the toddler days when he happily covered himself in mud so he resembled a miner.

Your husband, God-bless-him, is not working this weekend and is at the game to give you a reprieve. “How’s it going?” you ask, trying for cheerful and low-key, when you call to check in.
“Oh, we’re fine,” he says. Then there’s yelling in the background and he’s screaming,

“Go, Sam! High-five!”

Your son just hit the only homerun of the season and all you can think of is, “Shit.” I am so screwed.

You drag yourself back to the field for the impromptu celebration, thinking how you’re sick of raising kids like hot-house flowers-- constantly taking their temperatures to judge yourself: OK or failing. What about our happiness? you want to ask these parents, sitting here placidly putting everybody else’s needs first. On the bench, you try to act like you’re following a play, alternate between discretely checking your watch and mild hyperventilation. Your hands hold your book like a prayer.

Your fingers strum the pages.

By Mary Beth McClure


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Great piece and I think a brilliant choice to do in 2nd person

marianne lonsdale
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